MUMBAI: Three medical aspirants belonging to the Maratha category have petitioned the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court seeking admission under the economically weaker section (EWS) quota, as there is an interim stay by the Supreme Court on reservation for the Maratha community in educational institutions and government jobs in Maharashtra.
In their petition, Vedangi Kapre and two others, who have cleared NEET-UG 2020 and were seeking to apply for MBBS under the 10% EWS quota, said that a July 28, 2020, state resolution said that benefits of EWS quota will not be available to students from the Maratha community in Maharashtra who are eligible for reservations under the Socially and educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018.
The students’ plea was that the state government be directed to continue the benefits of EWS reservations to the Maratha community, as per the HC order of February 2019. Students would be entitled to EWS reservation only on having such a certificate.
The high court, on November 6, had asked the state government to decide within four days whether Maratha quota students can seek admission under the EWS, where eligible, since admissions were underway. However, the state counsel on Thursday pointed to “lots of difficulties” before the government to take a decision, and said that the file is pending before the law department.
A bench of Justices S D Kulkarni and S P Deshmukh of the Aurangabad bench of the high court then observed that the state government has not been able to take a decision within four days. The bench also mentioned that Maratha students who opt for EWS quota and produce a proper certificate cannot go back to the Maratha reservation “for educational purposes”.
The student petitioners, through their counsel Vinod Patil, said they were “indecisive” about the option and the HC then adjourned the hearing to December 1.
Meanwhile, an NGO filed an intervention application in the matter stating that not all Maratha students could benefit from the EWS reservation as the income conditions are different for both these quotas.
Save Merit Save Nation, a foundation which has been fighting against excessive reservations in educational institutions, in its intervention wants to draw a distinction between “two categories of SEBC students”.
Advocate Shrirang Chaudhary, the NGO’s legal advisor, said, “One whose cumulative family income from all sources is less than Rs 8 lakh a year can get the benefit of EWS reservation. However, students whose parents are government servants or whose families have income more than Rs 8 lakh per annum should not be given the benefit of the EWS quota according to the current rules.”