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Bombay HC to hear PIL by Maratha rights group on reservation row; hearing brought forward after rise in violence

The Bombay High Court will hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Tuesday filed by a Maratha rights group regarding reservation quotas for the community. The hearing was brought forward by a week amid continuing violence in the state, and a spate of suicides over the demand. The court will hear a petition seeking directions to the Maharashtra government and the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes to come up with a deadline on implementing quotas for the Maratha community. According to Livemint, the commission will also submit a report to the court on the progress it has made so far and the time it will take to submit its final report to the state government.

The PIL was filed by Maratha Kranti Morcha leader Vinod Patil, and was earlier slated for hearing on 14 August, Free Press Journal reported. However, a division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudesai later posted the matter for hearing on 7 August.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, and the two are believed to have discussed this issue for over an hour.

 Bombay HC to hear PIL by Maratha rights group on reservation row; hearing brought forward after rise in violence

File image of the Bombay High Court. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, Fadnavis had said that all constitutional obligations in connection with the granting of reservations to the Maratha community in the state would be completed by November this year. Fadnavis, during a 15-minute address on State television and radio, said that the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC) would inform the Bombay High Court on Tuesday about when it will submit its report regarding the Maratha quota.

He said that once the report of the MSBCC was submitted, a special session of the state legislature would be convened within a month to pass a "law or resolution" regarding granting reservations to the community. The chief minister said MSBCC was a statutory body and cannot be "pressurised" (to submit the report quickly). Hours later, state unit Congress president Ashok Chavan said he hoped Devendra Fadnavis walk the talk.

"It's the government, and not the Opposition, which is politicising the quota agitation. We hope Fadnavis will walk the talk," Chavan said in a statement. He said the Congress had repeatedly appealed to agitators against resorting to violence and destructing public property.

The same day, NCP MP Udayanraje Bhosale said, "If the Maharashtra government failed to act swiftly, the Maratha quota stir might turn into a "Naxal movement" in no time. He expressed apprehension that the situation might spiral out of control if the BJP-led government continued to drag its feet on the issue, as the youth are in no mood to listen.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 07, 2018 08:09:37 IST