ADVOCATE Sanjeet Shukla, an active member of NGO ‘Youth for Equality’ has filed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Bombay High Court challenging the Maharashtra government’s decision to grant reservation to the Muslim community as well Maratha in government jobs and educational institutes. Shukla claimed that the government has fraudulently categorised Muslim and Marathas as ‘socially and educationally backward’, and that it has violated the Supreme Court order regarding reservations by doing so.
Former journalist Ketan Tirodkar and Social activist Anil Thanekar have also filed petitions on same issue seeking to quash the government resolution (GR) on the ground that the Constitution does not allow reservation on the basis of religion as has been done in the case of Muslims.
“The reservation to Muslims is unconstitutional, as the Constitution does not permit religion-based reservation,” said Shukla.
All these PILs have been clubbed together and are being heard simultaneously by the court.
The Congress-NCP government in June had approved 16% reservation for Marathas and 5% for Muslims in government jobs and education institutions.
The matter has been posted for hearing on August 26.
Justice Abhay Oka and A S Chandurkar on Tuesday asked Maharashtra government to file an affidavit by August 19 in reply to a bunch of PILs. Matter is being argued by senior council Pradip Sancheti and Mrs Abha Singh.
According to Shukla, a report prepared by a committee in 1972 said that only a few sections of the Muslim community and not the community as a whole were backward.
Shukla believes that the caste organization is misusing and the benefits do not actually reach the really backward and the downtrodden persons, and the reservation is used as a political and devisal tool, by the different parties.
In the submission of the Petitioner, the reservation in favour of Maratha Community and reservation in favor of Muslim Community, in addition to the other O.B.C. reservation, and in addition to the reservation in favor of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes has surpassed the upper constitutional limit of 50% and on that account it is illegal.
What is NGO Youth for Equality?
Youth for Equality (YFE) is an Indian organization involved with the 2006 anti-reservation protests, which started to counter the Government of India’s move to implement 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in institutes of higher education (twenty central universities, the IITs, IIMs and 9 premier medical colleges like AIIMS and JIPMER). Ultimately, the organisation opposes all reservation based on castes in India.
As of June 2006, YFE’s website [www.youthforequality.com] states that it has over 16, 000, 00 members, and links to 12 regional chapter weblogs. The group’s membership includes medical students and professionals, students at public and private colleges (including IITs, IIMs, NITs, AIIMS, LHMC, MAMC, UCMS, DU, IP University and JNU]).
Sanjeet Shukla is part of NGO. 30 year old, well-educated and dynamic lawyer Shukla practicing in Bombay High Court.
Speaking to ABI Shukla claimed that Maharashtra government has taken the decision to earn political gains out of it.