DR. JAISHRI LAXMANRAO PATIL Vs. THE CHIEF MINISTER AND ANOTHER
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil
The Chief Minister And Another
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The Maharashtra State Reservation (of Seats for admission in Educational Institutions in the State and for appointments in the Public Services and posts under the State) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") which came into force on 30.11.2018, declared Marathas tobe a "Socially and Educationally Backward Class". Reservations to the extent of 16 per cent of the total seats in educational institutions including private educational institutions and 16 per cent of the total appointments in direct recruitment for public services and posts under the State, were separately made for "socially and educationally backward classes" according to Section 4 of the Act. The constitutional validity of the Act was challenged by filing Public Interest Litigations in the High Court of Bombay. The High Court of Bombay upheld the constitutionality of the Act. However, the High Court reduced the quantum of reservations provided therein from 16 per cent to 12 per cent in respect of the educational institutions and from 16 per cent to 13 per cent in respect of public employment.
(2.)Unsuccessful, the Appellants assailed the correctness of the judgment of the High Court by filing the above Appeals. By an order dated 12.07.2019, notice was issued in the SLPs giving rise to these Appeals. It was made clear that any action taken pursuant to the judgment of the High Court shall be subject to the result in the SLPs. In view of the importance of the issue involved in these Appeals, we listed the matter for hearing on 27.07.2020. Though the learned counsel appearing for the Appellants pressed for the hearing to commence, the learned counsel appearing for the Respondents expressed their apprehensions about the feasibility of hearing the Appeals through Virtual Hearing. The concern voiced by them was that a large number of Advocates are appearing and there is voluminous record to be perused, which makes it difficult for hearing through Video Conferencing.
(3.)On 27.07.2020, Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, learned senior counsel appearing for the State of Maharashtra referred to a Government Resolution dated 04.05.2020 to submit that the State Government has taken a decision not to undertake any type of fresh recruitment process except in Public Health Department and Department of Medical Education and Research. Mr. Rohatgi further submitted that the Appeals have to be heard after the commencement of physical Courts and the Appellants cannot have a grievance in view of the decision of the State Government to not make appointments to public services and posts. On the contrary, the Appellants contended that postponement of the hearing of the Appeals would result in loss of seats for the open category candidates in admissions to Educational Institutions for the current academic year.
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