The Bombay high court (HC) on Friday directed Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to file an application before the HC chief justice to club the various petitions filed at the Nagpur and Aurangabad benches and get them transferred to the principal seat at Mumbai. The petitions were filed after MSEDCL refused to appoint Maratha community members in the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category for 400 vacant posts. The petitioners who were previously covered by the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) reservation approached HC seeking directions to be considered for EWS reservation as they were eligible to apply under the quota.
On January 29, a division bench of justice KK Tated and justice NR Borkar, who were hearing a bunch of petitions filed by various members of the Maratha community, was informed by their lawyers that their clients were aspiring to get a job in MSEDCL pursuant to its advertisement for Kendra Sahayak post which was issued in July 2019. The advocates informed that after HC had upheld SEBC reservation, the petitioners had applied for the said quota in the job. However, after the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of SEBC reservation last year in October, their applications were considered to be from the open category.
In an earlier hearing, the counsel for one of the petitioners, advocate Satish Talekar, said though the aspirants could not benefit from SEBC reservation owing to the SC stay, members from the community who are from financially weaker backgrounds could avail EWS quota and hence, applied for it. However, the authorities refused to grant them EWS certificate and hence, MSEDCL did not consider their applications under the quota. The court then asked the officials concerned the reason behind denying the EWS certificates.
On January 29, Talekar informed the court that the state had issued a circular on December 23, 2020, clarifying that Maratha community members from the financially weak category could avail benefits under EWS quota, and on producing a receipt of the same, such persons should be considered by MSEDCL. Talekar sought HC’s directions to MSEDCL to revise the existing merit list as the current petitioners names would also have to be featured in it.
However, other applicants under EWS category opposed the petitions stating that if the Maratha petitioners are included in the list, it will prejudice their chances of getting appointed.
The bench was then informed by MSEDCL that apart from the bunch of petitions and intervention applications before it, there were many similar petitions before the Nagpur and Aurangabad bench of HC too.
After hearing the submissions, the court directed MSEDCL to seek clubbing of all the petitions so they may be heard at the principal seat in Mumbai and posted the hearing for the first week of this month.