A Former Standing Counsel alleged that Maharashtra Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni was responsible for the Supreme Court verdict on Wednesday i.e. September 9, 2020, against the Maratha reservation. The Supreme Court stays Maratha reservation for government jobs and academic admissions for 2020-21 not in excess of 50%. Advocate General shifts his blame to BJP Government that they did not want him to argue the case.
On September 9, 2020, a three-judge bench comprising of Justice L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta, and S Ravindra Bhat held that the Maharashtra government has not shown any extraordinary situation for providing reservation to Marathi in excess of 50%.
The court said that it would be difficult to cancel admission is made on appointment done for the jobs under the reservation therefore they
had referred a batch of petitions which challenges the Maharashtra State Reservation For Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act which provides for reservation in employment and education to the Maharashtra community, to a larger bench.
Not long after the judgment was passed, the former Standing Counsel Nishant Katneshwarkar alleged that AG Kumbhakoni has not fulfilled his duty as he has not argued for the state even once either in the Bombay High Court or Supreme Court.
"The hearing of the Bombay High Court started in February 2019 before the hearing in January 2019 the Maratha group of people had a meeting in Kolhapur where a decision was taken that former Advocate General V A Thorat should appear in the case. Post the meeting with than government asked me to let Mr. V A Thorat thought to defend the state legislation. Hence, with due respect to the request, I did not appear in the case" this was said by Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni. V A Thorat was asked to appear in the Maratha reservation case reason behind it was that he was Maratha by caste and Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni was not.
According to some of the sources close to the Advocate General's office speculated that why Nishant Katneshwarkar is blaming Ashutosh Kumbhakoni for the judgment as he is no longer the standing counsel. He also while blaming Ashutosh Kumbhakoni states that the verdict was "shocking" for the people of Maharashtra.
Ashutosh Kumbhakoni was praised by the CM Devendra Fernandez when the Bombay High Court has upheld the SEBC Act, 2018.
Firstly, in 2017 Ashutosh Kumbhakoni was appointed as Advocate General by then Government led by Bjp-Shiv Sena. He was reappointed as advocate general after the new government came into power which is an alliance of Shiv Sena-Congress- NCP.