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Maharashtra scraps reservation for Muslims
Thursday March 5, 2015 7:22 AM, & Agencies

Despite Bombay High Court allowing quota for the community in educational institutions and facing allegations of double standard on the issue, the BJP-led government in Maharashtra Tuesday scrapped an ordinance providing reservation for Muslims.

“The ordinance dated December 23, 2014 could not be converted into an Act. In view of this situation, we have decided to scrap this ordinance,” said a circular issued on Tuesday by the General Administration Department.

In a three-page order, the state government stated that the Bombay High Court has set aside a clause of the ordinance that provides for five per cent reservation for the community in government jobs and, therefore, it has taken the decision to scrap the ordinance.

In the run up to the Assembly polls last year, the previous Congress-NCP government had issued an ordinance on July 11, 2014 allowing 16 per cent reservation for Marathas and five per cent for Muslims in government-run schools and colleges as well as jobs.

The quota was given through two separate categories, namely the Educationally and Socially Backward Category (ESBC) for Marathas as well as a Special Backward Class (Muslims) segment for the Muslims.

On November 14, 2014, the Bombay High Court had stayed implementation of the decision of the erstwhile Congress-NCP government to provide 16 per cent reservations for Marathas in jobs and education, which was announced just ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly polls.

The court had also stayed the Maharashtra state's decision to provide a five per cent job reservation to Muslims in government service, but it allowed quotas for them in educational institutions.

The Maharashtra state government had challenged the Bombay High Court order in the Supreme Court, which refused to interfere with the interim decision of the High Court but asked the Maharashtra state government to go back to the Bombay High Court on the issue.

On January 5, this year, the Bombay High Court gave three weeks to the Maharashtra state government to file an affidavit submitting data to justify its decision to provide reservations to Marathas and Muslims in jobs as well as educational institutions.

Fadnavis had earlier claimed that his government stood for the all-round development of Muslim community and the present reservation system would only help a section of the community. He had also held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss ways of ensuring the development of minorities in the state.

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