Maratha Reservation and the Reservation Policy in India

By Aman|Updated : November 1st, 2021

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court recently held the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act of 2018 as unconstitutional.

Read this article to know all about the reservation policy of India and various judgements related to it.

This topic is important for MPSC Rajyaseva, MPSC Combined, Maharashtra Police Bharti, Maharashtra Arogya Bharti, MPSC CDPO and other Maharashtra State exams.

Maratha Reservation Issue


  • A 5 judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court recently held the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act of 2018 as unconstitutional.


 Source: Times Of India


A BRIEF Timeline:


JUNE 25, 2014 

State government enacted law to provide 16% reservation to Maratha community in education and jobs and 5% quota to Muslim community in jobs and education and it was challenged in court

BJP led government promulgated Ordinance on Maratha reservation which was also challenged in the Bombay HC

NOVEMBER 14, 2014 

Bombay HC stayed the implementation of this law.

NOVEMBER 15, 2014 

State government challenged the Bombay HC judgement in the SC

JULY 2016 TO AUGUST 2018

Maratha Kranti Morcha organised silent marches across the state to press for Maratha reservation

NOVEMBER 15, 2018 

State Backward Class Commission presented its report to the state government on this issue.

NOVEMBER 30, 2018 

State Legislature passed a law to provide 16% quota to Maratha community in jobs and education, over and above the existing reservation provided to OBCS, SCs and STS

Case judgment


Source: Hindustan times

  • SC has ruled that ceiling of 50% is constitutionally recognized and there is no need to revisit it.
  • Marathas are a dominant caste.
  • Only President and Parliament are empowered to make SEBC list, not the state governments.

Various judgements on reservation

  • In 1992, a 9-judge bench of the Supreme Court held that Article 16(4) does not grant reservation in promotion because it pertains only to appointments
  • Article 16(4A) was introduced in 1995 allowing states to provide reservation to SC/STS in promotions
  • In 2006, the SC upheld the constitutional validity of reservation in promotion to SC/STS, but noted that Article 164A and 4B are enabling provisions and there is no automatic right to reservation in promotions
  • In 2019, SC upheld reservation in promotion and validated the Karnataka Reservation Act 2018. It introduced definition of administrative efficiency
  • In 2020, SC said there is no fundamental right to claim reservation in promotions available to citizens.

Implications of the Judgement

  • Centre alone is empowered to identify SEBC from now onwards as per 102nd Constitutional amendment act. The SC held that final say in inclusion and exclusion rests with the President and subsequent changes can be done by Parliament only.
  • 10% reservation given to the EWS in government jobs and educational institutions also crosses the 50% reservation threshold. This law may come for review under the SC.
  • Several states like Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh have enacted various local reservation laws which are void as per this judgement. NBC Commission must publish a fresh list of SEBCs, both for states and the central list.  

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