EWS quota validity case goes to constitution bench

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 8/7/2020 10:55:50 AM

NEW DELHI, Aug 6: The constitutional validity of the government's decision last year to carve out 10 per cent reservation to the economically weaker sections (EWS) will be examined by a 5-judge Constitution Bench.
Allowing a batch of transfer petitions, a 3-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde pulled out its hand from further hearing the petition on Wednesday and directed the registry to place the matter before him for constituting a Bench of five judges to hear it. Two other judges on the Bench were Justices R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai.
The order came on the writ petitions by Janhit Abhiyan, Youth for Equality, Tehseen Poonawala and 32 others, challenging the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act enacted by Parliament in January 2019, enabling the state to make reservations in higher education and public employment on the basis of the economic criteria alone. The Act empowers the government to make special provisions for advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens.
The EWS reservation has been challenged on the ground that it cannot be based solely on economic criteria in the light of the Indra Sawney judgment in 1992 violating 50% ceiling limit imposed by it and SCs, STs and OBCs cannot be excluded from economic reservation as it would violate the fundamental right of equality. Also, imposing reservations on educational institutions that do not receive State aid violates the fundamental right to equality.
At present, 49.5% of seats in education and public appointments are reserved, with 15%, 7.5% and 27% quotas for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes respectively.



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