State says it has power to exceed 50% quota limit

The Times of India:Feb 28, 2019

MUMBAI: Senior counsel V A Thorat, appearing for the state government, justified the 16% Maratha reservations brought in last year as he argued on Wednesday that it excluded the creamy layer of the community, allowing the benefits to percolate to the targeted section.

Thorat and Mukul Rohatgi, former attorney general, were appearing for the state, which began its submissions in support of the law enacted last year to create an additional 16% reservation in the state for Marathas as a Socially and Educational Backward Class .

Rohatgi with former additional solicitor general P S Patwalia and the chief standing counsel of the state in the Supreme Court, Nishant Katneshwarkar, argued that the power of the state to exceed 50% limit in quotas exists in extraordinary circumstances. He read from the Indra Sawhney judgment to show that the 50% bar could be breached.

Arguing before a bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati Dangre, Rohatgi said that just because of the amendment to the Constitution with Article 342A, cited by counsel Arvind Datar, S G Aney and S B Talekar while arguing against the reservation, the power of the state under articles 15 and 16 to provide reservation for education and jobs has not been taken away.

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