NEW DELHI: The Maharashtra government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the 50% ceiling on reservation fixed nearly 30 years ago by a nine-judge SC bench required reconsideration by an 11-judge bench as 70-80% of the population belonged to backward classes and it would be unfair to deny them proportionate reservation.
When a bench comprising Justices L N Rao, Hemant Gupta and S R Bhat was hearing petitions challenging the validity of 12% Maratha quota in state government jobs, the Maharashtra government through senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the SC had recently referred to a constitution bench petitions challenging the validity of 10% quota for economically weaker sections, also on the same ground that it exceeded the 50% ceiling fixed by the SC in 1992 in Indra Sawhney case (26% OBC quota recommended by Mandal Commission).
Rohatgi said most states had enacted legislation to provide quotas beyond the 50% ceiling. "The basis of Indra Sawhney judgment has gone. Should the 50% ceiling be reconsidered is the moot question. Let this be examined by a bench of 11 judges," he said.
Appearing for a pro-Maratha reservation petitioner, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said in the Indra Sawhney case, the SC had specifically rejected 10% reservation for economically weaker sections. The issue should go before an 11-judge bench with all issues kept open — whether there should be a ceiling? Whether the reservation could be on the basis of caste or economic criteria?
Sibal said in Maharashtra, 85% of the population belonged to backward classes, whose all-India percentage was between 70-80%. "As many as 28 states have enacted legislations and granted reservations far in excRead More – Source