A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre heard arguments for the third day.
Mumbai: Maratha is not a caste but a class and if the state government wants to give reservation to the community, it would have to bring an amendment to the Constitution, senior counsel Shreehari Aney argued in the Bombay high court during the hearing of the Maratha reservation petition.
The former state advocate general also argued that by granting reservation to the Maratha community, the Maharashtra government has given it permanent crutches, which it would never be able to shed. The government has destroyed the concept of equality by setting up a special category – Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) – for the Maratha community, it was argued.
A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre heard arguments for the third day on a bunch of petitions challenging the state government’s decision granting 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions.
“Reservation cannot be mistaken for a privilege,” Mr Aney added that thro-ugh this decision, the government has destroyed the concept of equality in society. “The Constitution of India has a golden thread by way of Article 14, which speaks of the right to equ-ality. The state governme-nt’s decision is an attempt to assault and destroy this article,” He said.
“The government cannot divide the nation/society into small fragments. This decision of the state is a prime example of erecting narrow silos that shut doors for people to have equal opportunities in jobs and education,” Mr Aney said.