Maratha quota: Maha govt considering fee refund to students

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Mumbai, Nov 2 (PTI) The Maharashtra government is considering the option of reimbursing fees of students who would have benefited with Maratha reservation in admissions to medical colleges, state minister Amit Deshmukh said on Monday.

Deshmukh, who is the state medical education minister, said his department will move a proposal in this regard before the state cabinet.

The Supreme Court in September this year stayed the implementation of Maratha quota in jobs and education and referred the matter to a larger bench.

The Maharashtra government later filed an application before a larger bench of the SC, seeking vacation of the stay on implementation of the quota.

The state government is thinking of how students who have been affected by the Supreme Court's interim stay on implementation of Maratha quota can be given relief in admissions to medical education, Deshmukh told a TV channel.

Asked if the government will reimburse their fees, he said, '...this (reimbursing fees) could be an option and the proposal will be moved before the cabinet by the medical education department.' 'Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ji will take a final call on the same after the cabinet discusses it,' he said.

Deshmukh also said the Maha Vikas Aghadi government -- comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress -- is committed to ensure that Maratha community students do not suffer.

The Supreme Court in September stayed the implementation of 2018 Maharashtra law granting reservation to Marathas in education and jobs, but made it clear that the status of those who have availed of the benefits will not be disturbed.

The Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 was enacted to grant reservation to people of Maratha community in Maharashtra in jobs and admissions.

The Bombay High Court, while upholding the law in June last year, held that 16 per cent reservation was not justifiable, and said quota should not exceed 12 per cent in employment and 13 per cent in admissions. PTI ENM GK GK

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