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‘Due process not followed in Maratha quota law’

Only President in consultation with Governor can specify socially and educationally backward classes in a State, SC told

Senior advocate Shyam Divan on Tuesday argued before a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court that the Maratha quota law was enacted without following the specific procedure laid out in the One Hundred and Second Constitutional Amendment to recognise socially and educationally backward classes in a State.

Appearing before the five-judge Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, Mr. Divan, who is appearing for petitioners challenging the Maratha quota, submitted that the procedure is laid out in Article 342A introduced by the constitutional amendment in 2018.

Under Article 342A, it is only the President in consultation with the Governor who can specify socially and educationally backward classes in a State. There was no Presidential notification issued in consultation with the Governor in the case of the Maratha reservation law.

The constitutional amendment had introduced Articles 338B and 342A. Article 338B deals with the newly established National Commission for Backward Classes. Article 342A empowers the President to specify the socially and educationally backward communities in a State in consultation with the Governor.

However, it is for the Parliament to include a community in the Central List for socially and backward classes for grant of reservation benefits.

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