How Long Will the Reservations Continue?, Asks Supreme Court

Story Highlights
  • Cases in Bombay High Court upheld the grant of quota to Marathas in admissions and government jobs in the state
  • Advocate Rohatgi demanded amendments in the Census of 1931
  • Supreme court determines future post amendments

New Delhi: During the Maratha quota case hearing on Friday, the Supreme Court sought to know for how many generations would reservations in jobs and education continue. It raised concerns over “resultant inequality” in case the overall 50 percent limit was to be removed.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Maharashtra indignantly addressed a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that the on capping the quota demanded amendments in changed circumstances.

He said,” the courts should leave it to states to fix reservation quotas in view of the changed circumstances.” Arguing in favour of the Maharashtra law granting quota to Marathas, Rohatgi referred to various aspects of the Mandal judgment, also known as the Indra Sawhney case, and said the Centre’s decision to grant 10 percent quota to people from an economically weaker section also breached the 50 percent cap. Mukul Rohatgi demands the government to amend the census of 1931, as the population has increased many folds.  

According to the bench, since Independence have been carrying beneficial schemes and have developed. Rohatgi says,”Yes, we have moved forward. But it is not that backward classes have gone down from 50 to 20 percent. We still have starvation deaths in this country… I am not trying to say that Indra Sawhney is completely wrong, throw it in the dustbin. I am raising issues that 30 years have gone by, the law has changed, the population has grown, backward persons may also have increased.”

Justices L Nageswara Rao, S Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta, and S Ravindra Bhat determined the future of such amendments and demanded an insight.

The top court has been hearing a clutch of cases challenging the Bombay High Court verdict which upheld the grant of quota to Marathas in admissions and government jobs in the state.

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