Wednesday, December 7, 2022

SC in 3-2 verdict upholds 10% quota for EWS

Supreme Court on Monday upheld constitutional validity of the 103rd Constitution amendment for granting 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) from unreserved categories in central educational institutions and government jobs.
A five-judge constitution bench by a majority of 3:2 upheld its validity and there said was no illegality in granting reservation in breach of 50% quota. While Justices Dineash Maheshwari, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala said that the amendment was valid and constitutional, Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Ravindra Bhat disagreed with them and delivered separate verdict. All the judges, however, agreed that reservation cannot go on for an indefinite period and the reservation policy needed to be re-examined.
The court’s verdict may also decide whether 50% cap on reservation as fixed by it in Indra Sawhney is inviolable and could not be breached, as this point was argued by various lawyers opposing ESW quota for breaching the cap.
The court had reserved its verdict on Sept 27 after hearing the case for over seven days. The Centre had contended that it has approved creation of more than 2.14 lakh seats in central educational institutions to ensure that EWS quota did not impact SC/STs, OBCs.
The Centre also took the stand that the amendment did not violate but in fact strengthened the basic structure of the Constitution by ensuring economic justice to its citizens.
The petitioners in their counter contended that economic criteria could not be a basis for granting reservation and pleaded the court to declare the amendment as unconstitutional.

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