- Apprentice Lawyer
The Bombay High Court recently said that the Maharashtra government should take a call on whether or not candidates who have applied under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) category should be extended the benefit of reservation under Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) considering the fact the Supreme Court recently stayed the SEBC law.
A Bench of Justices SV Gangapurwala and SD Kulkarni was hearing a petition filed by candidates belonging to Maratha caste seeking selection for the post of ‘Talathi’ - an officer in the revenue department.
The petitioners satisfied the criteria of EWS and were seeking selection in EWS quota since the Supreme Court had stayed the SEBC law which granted reservation for Marathas.
"It would have been appropriate if the Government would have taken a decision as to whether the benefit of EWS ought to be granted to the candidates, who have applied from SEBC category and the said reservation is stayed by the Apex Court. It appears that the decision to that effect has not been taken," the bench remarked.
The Court, therefore, directed the Revenue department of Government of Maharashtra to consider the petitioner candidates who belonged to the EWS category for the post of ‘Talathi’ - an officer in the revenue department.
The petitioners had applied for the government post in the revenue department through SEBC category and were declared eligible candidate for the post.
However, since the Supreme Court had stayed the reservation to Maratha caste till the validity of the SEBC Act was decided by the Court, their plea was that they should be considered from the EWS category as they possess the EWS certificate as well.
The petitioner’s grievance arose when the Revenue department issued a letter to all candidates selected for the post except the candidates selected from the SEBC category.
Pursuant to the Supreme Court order, the Maharashtra government took a cabinet decision to extend the benefits of the EWS to the candidates falling under the SEBC. However, it was contended that this decision “was not being implemented throughout the State.”
The Court, therefore, sought a response from the State government and posted the case for further consideration on July 14, 2021.
The Court also recorded the petitioners undertaking that “if they are appointed from EWS category, then throughout their service career, they will not claim benefit of any horizontal and vertical reservation.”
The Court thereafter directed the government to not appoint any candidate possessing less marks that the petitioners from the EWS category. However, if someone from the EWS category has more marks than the petitioners, then those candidates will be considered over the petitioners.
Recently, the same bench of High Court had also allowed students belonging to the Maratha caste to avail the benefit of reservation afforded to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) provided they give an undertaking not to claim any other reservation except EWS category for education purpose.