Context: Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution Bench has struck down the Maharashtra law granting reservation to the Maratha community in admissions and government jobs in the state
- The Maratha community was given the reservation under the Maharashtra State Socially and Educational Backward Act In November 2018.
- The Maratha reservation of 12( Education) and 13 per cent (and jobs) had increased the overall reservation ceiling to 64 per cent and 65 per cent, respectively
Supreme Court Judgement:
- The Maratha quota exceeded the 50% ceiling and a separate reservation for the Maratha community violated Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (due process of law).
- The court held that there is no need to revisit the Indra Sawhney case and that the 50% ceiling, although an arbitrary determination by the court in 1992, is now constitutionally recognized.
- The Court also upheld constitutional validity of 102nd Amendment and opined that identification of SEBCs will be done centrally, state governments retain power to determine the extent of reservation and make specific policy for them.
- 102nd Amendment: granted constitutional status to the National Commission For Backward Class (NCBC).
- Indra Sawhney Case 1992: Acknowledged need for reservation for other backward classes. It also set the criteria for granting reservation on quantifiable data, based on education of class and backwardness of class.