The Maharashtra Government on Wednesday decided that Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) will be eligible to avail the reservation benefits extended to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category.
A resolution was passed to this effect by virtue of which individuals from the Maratha caste (who are classified as SEBC) can now get reservation benefits in State educational institutes and State government jobs if they fall within the income limit specified for the EWS category.
The State government directed the District Collectors and concerned departments in the State to take the necessary measures to verify the financial background of the students and other applicants from SEBC category and upon thorough verification, to issue EWS certificate.
Earlier, those who were classified as SEBC and secured the benefits extended to SEBC category, were precluded availing the EWS quota.
The change in this stance came in the light of the stay imposed by the Supreme Court on the Maharashtra law extending reservation to SEBC.
Maharashtra government had notified a Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, which provided for reservation in employment and education to the Maratha community through the SEBC category.
However, the Supreme Court had, in September 2020, stayed the implementation of the SEBC Act while posting the case for further consideration by a larger Bench.
Pursuant to this, petitions were filed before the Bombay High Court by candidates belonging to Maratha caste claiming that since they have been refrained from availing SEBC reservation, they should not be stopped from availing EWS quota if eligible.
The High Court had in two such cases taken favourable view of the prayers made by such petitioners and said that the Maharashtra government should take a call on extending reservation benefits of the EWS category to people who have applied under the SEBC considering the fact Supreme Court recently stayed the SEBC law.