All states have been asked to submit views to the Supreme Court on 50 per cent cap on reservation for backward communities - enacted after 1992 Indra Sawhney case verdict - as the top court prepares to examine if the reservation celling needs to be reconsidered.
Today, a five-judge bench was hearing petitions against Maratha quota when Maharashtra government urged that "all states must be called as parties and their views should be taken because any interpretation in Maratha quota will have impact on all states on the OBC quota". The Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 was enacted to grant reservation to people of Maratha community in Maharashtra in jobs and admissions.
Issuing a notice to all the states, the Supreme Court asked if constitutional amendment 102, in any way, stops states from making laws for the benefit of backward communities.
According to the 102nd amendment to the Constitution, reservation can be granted only if a particular community is named in the list prepared by the President.
The top court is set to examine if states can give benefits of quota to the backward communities in the light of changing socio-economic situation.
During today's hearing, Mukul Rohatgi, Abishek Manu Singhvi and other senior lawyers argued that all states must be served notice on the larger issue of Constitutional amendment 102, which deals with National Backward Classes commission.
They also argued that the amendment raises issue whether state can declare particular caste to be socially and educationally backward, or only the parliament and any interpretation will have an impact on all the states.
Attorney General KK Venugopal wanted the states to be heard as the interpretation in Maratha case will have impact on states.
In 1992, a nine-judge bench had passed a verdict in Indira Sawhney case to put a cap of 50 per cent on total reservation, However, few states including Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, had surpassed the ceiling.
The top court will hear the matter on March 15. It has framed FEW questions to be debated in the hearing: If the Indra Sawhney Case verdict needs to be referred to a larger bench, If Maharashtra quota is against the verdict, if 102nd amendment of Constitution deprives states to enact law on conferring benefits to backward, and article 342 A in respect of any backward and affects the federal policy of constitution of India.