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SC reserves order on whether to refer 10% EWS quota to Constitution bench

ANI | Updated: Jul 31, 2019 21:52 IST

New Delhi [India], July 31 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on the issue of referring to a Constitution Bench for hearing the pleas challenging the 103rd Constitutional Amendment.
The amendment gives 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) of the general category.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice SA Bobde had heard arguments of senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan on July 30.
Dhawan is appearing for one of the petitioners challenging the Constitution Amendment.
Dhawan has sought setting up of Constitution Bench to hear the case saying the issue involves basic structure and will have to be heard by the five-judge Constitution Bench.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, opposed the contentions of Dhawan for referring the matter to the Constitution Bench.
During the hearing, Justice Bobde had observed that reservation is ideally intended to bring equality of opportunity, but the excessive reservation will have a negative impact on equality.
Earlier, the apex court had refused to stay the implementation of 10 per cent reservation given to EWS of the general category in jobs and education.
The court was hearing pleas filed by many individuals and NGOs.
One of the petitions filed by Tehseen Poonawala challenged the 103rd Constitutional amendment saying it was against the basic structure of Constitution, which does not allow for any reservation based on economic criteria.
The 50 per cent ceiling limit cannot be breached, stated the plea.
An organisation, Youth for Equality, had also sought the quashing of the Bill, stating that it violated the "equality code of the Constitution" as reservation on economic grounds cannot be restricted to general category.
By way of the present amendments, the exclusion of the OBCs and the SCs/STs from the scope of the economic reservation essentially implies that only those who are poor from the general categories would avail the benefits of the quotas, the organisation had contended.
"Taken together with the fact that the high creamy layer limit of Rs 8 lakh per annum ensures that the elite in the OBCs and SCs/STs capture the reservation benefits repeatedly, the poor sections of these categories remain completely deprived. This is an overwhelming violation of the basic feature of equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution and elsewhere," the petition had stated. (ANI)

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