The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from state governments on allowing over 50 per cent reservation for scheduled castes/scheduled tribes (SC/ST) and other backward class (OBC) for education and employment.
Hearing a plea challenging the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, which provides reservation to Maratha community, a five-judge bench, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, said it will hear all the states in the matter, Bar and Bench reported.
Senior lawyers Mukul Rohatgi, Abhishek Singhvi and Kapil Sibal told the apex court that the issue will affect not only Maharashtra but all other states, and hence they should be heard on the issue. Attorney General K K Venugopal also agreed with this view.
Accordingly, the apex court issued notice to all the state governments, and the matter will be next heard on March 15.
An order by the Supreme Court in 1992 had laid a cap of 50 per cent on reservation for SC/STs and backward castes for education and employment.
The Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act provided 16 per cent reservation for Maratha community. In 2019, the Bombay High Court upheld the law, but reduced the reservation to 12 per cent for admission to educational institutions and 13 per cent for employment.
The High Court's order was challenged in the Supreme Court, saying that it violates the 50 per cent cap for reservation laid down by the apex court.