Daily News Analysis

SC reserves ruling on pleas against Maratha quota law  

28th March, 2021 Polity

Context: The Supreme Court reserved its decision on a batch of petitions challenging the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018, which provides reservation to the Maratha community in jobs and admissions, taking the total quota beyond the 50 per cent cap fixed by the apex court’s 1992 ruling in the Indra Sawhney case.



  • A five-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan heard arguments for ten days on whether the 1992 judgment by a nine-judge bench needs to be reconsidered and the effect of the 102nd amendment on the power of the states to identify Socially and Educationally Backward Classes so as to provide them reservation.
  • Earlier, the bench had said that the 50 per cent ceiling “is a manifestation of the right to equality” and wondered what would happen to the concept of equality if the ceiling is scrapped.


Indra Sawhney & Others v. Union of India:

  • The constitution recognized social and educational backwardness, but not economic backwardness.
  • The court upheld separate reservations for OBC in central government jobs, but excluded these to the "creamy layer".
  • At no point should the reservation exceed 50%.