Approx. 2500 employees from open caste, who were appointed on a temporary basis to the 16 per cent posts reserved for the Maratha community, were being asked to leave. Their termination was to enable those from the Maratha community to take their place. However, following a petition by four employees from Kolhapur, the Bombay High Court asked the state to refrain from terminating these employees.
The petitioners explained that the government resolution to terminate the employees attempts to implement the Maratha quota from a ‘retrospective effect’, which would have an adverse impact on the open-caste temporary staff already occupying those posts.
These open-caste people were appointed in 2015, following the directives of the then Chief Justice of the High Court, who quashed the government proposal to reserve 16 per cent posts for the Maratha community. At that time, the government had been instructed not to leave those seats vacant and hire people from open castes on a temporary basis.
These employees have had their tenures renewed several times ever since.
Now, with another bench of the High Court upholding the Maratha quota, the government has decided to terminate the services of the existing open-caste employees, so that members of the Maratha community can take their place.
However, the quota has been reduced from 16 per cent to 12 per cent in public service and to 13 per cent in education.
The state government also announced that the ruling will be implemented with retrospective effect, that is, from 2015 onwards.
Following the plea of the affected open-caste employees, the Maharashtra government has been instructed not to terminate their services, for at least the next three weeks by when the bench will again hear the matter.