HC dismisses MBBS aspirants' plea against Maratha quota

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by a group of students, aspiring to enroll in the MBBS course, against the Maharashtra government's decision to implement reservation for the Maratha community in admissions to medical colleges from this year.

 A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel, while dismissing the petition, said it would pass a reasoned order later.

The petitioners said the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act came into force on November 30, 2018, while the admission process for MBBS and dental courses started before that.

 Therefore, the reservation could not be implemented in the current academic year, their lawyer M P Vashi argued.

Maharashtra government counsel V A Thorat said it was a policy decision to implement the reservation in the admission process of 2019-20.

The 2018 Act granted 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community by creating the new category of SEBC.

But, another bench of the high court on June 27, while upholding the constitutional validity of the Act, asked the government to reduce the 16 per cent quota to 12 per cent for education and 13 per cent for jobs.

 In May this year, the state government issued an ordinance to provide reservation under Maratha quota for admissions to medical and dental undergraduate and post- graduate courses from the current academic year itself.