The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with an interim order of the Bombay High Court by which the decision of Maharashtra government to provide 16 per cent reservation to Marathas in jobs and education institutions was stayed.
“It is just an interim order, let the Bombay High Court decide it,” a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said, while refusing to hear a batch of petitions filed by various parties, including the Maharashtra government, on the issue.
Earlier, the high court had stayed the implementation of the controversial decision of the previous Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra to provide reservation to Marathas in government jobs and education institutions announced ahead of the Assembly election.
The bench, also comprising Justice A K Sikri, said, “However, we request the high court to dispose of the writ petition as expeditiously as possible.”
On being told that the single-judge bench of the high court had already opined his views conclusively on the issue in the interim order itself, the bench said the judge concerned will not hear it now and the plea will be heard by some other judge of the high court.
The bench then disposed of the matter.
Earlier, the high court had also stayed the decision to provide five per cent reservation to Muslims in government service but had allowed quotas for them in education institutions.
The high court had said that as per the Supreme Court directions, reservation cannot exceed 50 per cent of the total seats, and the Congress-NCP government had, in the run up to the Assembly polls, raised it to 73 per cent by announcing 16 per cent quotas for Marathas and five per cent for Muslims in government jobs and education institutions.
The state government had contended in the high court that the two communities were socially, educationally and economically backward, saying that its decision was based on the report of a committee headed by former minister Narayan Rane formed to look into the issue.