MPSC Study Notes: Maratha Quota Unconstitutional, All You Need to Know

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

In its verdict on May 5 2021, the Supreme Court has struck down the separate reservation given to the Maratha community in the state of Maharashtra. The apex court has underscored the importance of adhering to the 50% limit on the total reservation. It has also undermined the need to justify any excess by showing the existence of exceptional circumstances. 

This article is relevant for MPSC State Services Exam and MPSC Combined Exam.

Maratha Quota Unconstitutional

On May 5 2021, the state law declared that the state law grant reservation to Maratha Community was unconstitutional. The court highlighted that the community is not socially and educationally backwards to be brought under the reservation.

Therefore, the 5-judge bench has quashed it on various grounds, including breaching the 50% quota rule. It has highlighted that neither the Gaikward Commission nor the High Court has made any situation for exceeding the ceiling of 50% reservation for Marathas.

Background of Judgement

Maharashtra had framed the law on Nov 30, 2018, granting a 16% quota to the Maratha community in admission in educational institutions and government jobs. It was done in response to a sustained agitation in the state. On Jun 27, 2019, Bombay High Court directed the state govt. To reduce the quota from 16% to 12% for education and 13% for jobs recommended by the appointed State-appointed backward class commission.


In the recent judgement, the Supreme Court has highlighted that the High Court and the Commission have erred in concluding it as a backward community. On examining all data pertaining to the social, educational, and political status of Marathas in State, the apex court does not grant them as backward status.

The representation of Marathas in public services is as follows:

Public Service


Grade A


Grade B


Grade C


Grade D



While denying granting the quota to the Maratha community in its judgement, the Supreme Court has made it clear that people who availed Maratha Quota in Public Services, educational institutional and various govt jobs during the pendency of the case will not be affected.

What is SEBC?

SEBC stands for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes. The Union Govt recognizes and classifies some of its citizens based on their social and economic condition.

What is the reservation?

  • In India, the reservation is a system of affirmative action that provides historically disadvantaged groups representation in education, politics, and employment. 
  • The Indian Constitution’s provisions enable the Indian Govt to set reserved quotas or seats. This lowers the qualifications needed in the job openings and exam requisites for socially and educationally backward citizens.
  • The reservation is granted primarily to the three groups- 
  1. Scheduled Castes (SCs)
  2. Schedules Tribes (STs)
  3. Other Backward Classes (OBCs)
  • Originally, the reservation was granted to SCs and STs, but it was extended later to OBCs in the year 1987 when the Mandal Commission report’s recommendations were implemented.

Highlights concerning reservation in Maharashtra State

  • As mentioned earlier, 13 % reservation in education and jobs to the Maratha community, according to Bombay High Court’s verdict in June 2019.
  • 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) 
  • SCs- 13%
  • STs- 7%
  • OBCs- 19%
  • SBC -2%
  • Nomadic Tribes A-3%
  • Nomadic Tribe B-2.5%
  • Nomadic Tribe C-3.5%
  • Nomadic Tribe D-2% 

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