The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the Maratha community brought in by the Maharashtra government in 2018, saying it exceeded the 50 per cent cap imposed earlier.

A five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, L Nageswara Rao, S Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta and Ravindra Bhat in its judgment said that that people from the Maratha community cannot be declared as educationally and socially backward community to bring them within the reserved category.

Justice Bhushan said, “With respect to Article 342 A, we have upheld the Constitutional Amendment and it does not violate any Constitutional provision and therefore, we have dismissed the writ petition challenging the Maratha Reservation.”

The Supreme Court in its judgment said that there was no valid ground to breach 50 per cent reservation while granting Maratha reservation.

The bench was hearing appeals challenging the Bombay High Court order that upheld reservations to Marathas in jobs and education under Maharashtra Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018.

The High Court, while upholding the Maratha quota, held that 16 per cent reservation is not justifiable and ruled that reservation should not exceed 12 per cent in employment and 13 per cent in education as recommended by the State Backward Commission.