A gathering of Maratha community during a protest in Mumbai to demand reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. (Photographer: Shashank Parade/PTI)

Maratha Reservation: Commission Submits Report To Maharashtra Government

The Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission submitted its report on social and economic conditions of the Maratha community to state’s Chief Secretary DK Jain today.

According to a government source, the report made favourable recommendations on the demands of the Maratha community for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions, without disturbing the quota granted to other backward classes.

"We have received the report, which is based on the economic, social conditions of the Marathas. Appropriate decision will be taken after studying it," Jain told reporters at Mantralaya, the secretariat.

A government source said the commission went through 2 lakh memoranda submitted to it along with surveys of about 45,000 families as well as empirical data on the social, financial and educational backwardness of the Maratha community.

The source said that the commission went through old historical records, old verdicts, studied constitutional provision, writings by noted anthropologist, sociologist Irawati Karve and several organisations like Pune's Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and others.

The panel is headed by Justice NG Gaikwad (retired). A senior cabinet minister of the BJP said the party could not afford to lose their core voter base, the OBCs, ahead of the Lok Sabha and assembly polls next year.

The government has to provide the Maratha community 16 percent reservation. We cannot go below that. However currently, 52 percent quota is in place. Therefore, the total reservation will go up to 68 percent.
DK Jain, Chief Secretary, Maharashtra.

He said the government was expecting the ones opposing the decision will approach the High Court, after the cabinet gives nod to the recommendations and tables it in the Legislative Assembly during its winter session.

The minister said that if the court admits the plea, but doesn't stay the decision, like in the case of Tamil Nadu, then we can go ahead with it. He said that problems will rise if the court gives a stay order ahead of the elections.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had told reporters in Akola on Wednesday that his government would complete all legal formalities by the end of November to grant reservations to the Maratha community.

Also read: Violence, Arson Mark Maratha Quota Bandh In Maharashtra

In July this year, the government had announced 16 percent reservation for the Marathas in 72,000 government jobs which was later stayed following protests.

On June 25, 2014, months before the assembly polls, the then Congress-NCP government under then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had announced 16 percent reservation quota in government jobs and in educational institutions for Marathas and five percent quota for the Muslim community.

However, on Nov. 14, 2014, the Bombay High Court stayed the government’s decision and on Nov. 18, 2014, the Supreme Court had declined to vacate the High Court stay.