Maharashtra govt says SC remarks won’t hit Maratha hirings cleared in 2014
The education minister, however, said they are not implementing the Act with retrospective effect
Although the Supreme Court on Friday observed that the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act can’t be implemented retrospectively, the state’s general administration department (GAD) said it will not have any impact on the government’s decision to recruit those selected for seats under the Maratha quota in 2014, as the law has clauses to protect it. The education minister, however, said they are not implementing the Act with retrospective effect.
On Thursday, a day before the court hearing, the state issued a government resolution ordering appointments of aspirants selected under the 2014 Maratha quota ordinance. The HC had stayed the ordinance, and a bill that was passed later using the ordinance as the basis. The state then came up with the SEBC law in November 2018, following the legal procedure of setting up a Backward Class Commission.
The state now wants to recruit the selected candidates, even though the shortlisting was done under the earlier legal processes. While this could help 3,000 Maratha aspirants get jobs ahead of the Assembly polls in October, the SC’s remarks put a question mark on the implementation.
Shivajirao Daund, secretary, GAD, said the remarks will not impact the recruitment process. “Section 18 of the SEBC Act clearly states the repeal of the law shall not affect any appointment made, any selection process initiated, admission taken in any educational institutions, any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued, or incurred under the act so repealed,” Daund said.
The state has also retrospectively cleared post-graduate medical and dental admissions of around 250 students of the Maratha community through an amendment to its 2018 law in June this year. “Since then, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court and the Supreme Court have dismissed challenges to the admissions and the state amendment,” said Nishant Katneshwarkar, government pleader for the matter in the Supreme Court.
However, a senior state government official said it may be difficult to protect the recruitments, given the clear tenor of the apex court’s remarks.
Vinod Tawde, state higher and technical education minister, said: “Some people are trying to spread false information based on the Supreme Court’s remarks related to implementation of the SEBC Act. The state government is following the orders of the high court and not implementing it with retrospective effect.”