Maratha reservation: SC wishes to start day-to-day final hearing from August
The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed its inclination to hear on a day-to-day basis the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of a Maharashtra law that grants reservation to the Maratha community in education and jobs.
A bench of the apex court headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao said that it wishes to hear the Maratha reservation case on a day-to-day basis from next month.
The court asked parties in the matter to give their written submissions and specify the time each will take. It suggested lawyers appearing for all the parties to hold a video conference amongst themselves to discuss the issue.
The bench said that the dates of the final hearing of the case will be given in August.
Petitioners challenging the Maratha reservation told the bench that matter could not be adjudicated through virtual hearing and demanded a physical hearing.
Justice Rao asked counsels to not press for an immediate date. "A five-judge bench cannot sit now," observed the court while saying it will pass an interim order on Wednesday.
Earlier, the top court had refused to pass interim order on the stay of the Bombay High Court order and posted the matter for final hearing on March 17, which couldn't be taken place due to the spread of COVID-19.
The bench was hearing two appeals, including one filed by J Laxman Rao Patil challenging the Bombay High Court order that upheld the constitutional validity of the quota for the Maratha community in education and government jobs in Maharashtra.
The petitioner has earlier sought a stay on the High Court order as the reservation today is 65 percent in education and 62 percent in jobs, exceeding 50 percent cap in total reservation.
The Bombay High Court on June 27, 2019, had said the 50 percent cap on total reservations imposed by the Supreme Court could be exceeded in exceptional circumstances.
Another appeal filed by advocate Sanjeet Shukla, a representative of 'Youth for Equality', said the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, enacted to grant reservation to the Maratha community people in jobs and education, breached the 50 percent ceiling on reservation fixed by the top court in its judgment in the Indira Sawhney case.