Supreme Court upholds 10% reservations for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment by introducing a 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in 3:2 verdict.
By this act, the beneficiaries could avail reservation for admission in central institutions and Central government jobs. The apex court said that the law doesn’t violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
The newly inserted Article 15(6) enabled the State to make special provisions for the advancement of any economically weaker section of citizens, including provision of admission in educational institutions. And institutions can be private institutions as well, whether aided or unaided, except minority educational institutions covered under clause (1) of Article 30. It further states that the upper limit of the reservation will be ten percent, which will be in addition to the existing reservations. After the amendment was notified by the President, a batch of petitions was filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of economic reservation.
A five-judge bench which included Chief Justice UU Lalit,and Justices, Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala heard the matter, who held the hearing for seven days.
At the outset, the Chief Justice Lalit said there are four different judgments on pleas challenging the EWS quota.
Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, while reading out the verdict, stated that the 103rd Constitutional Amendment is legitimate and does not conflict with the Constitution's fundamental principles.
Justice Bela Trivedi said she concurs with Justice Trivedi and says that this amendment enables the state to make special provision for other than the SC ST Category should be treated as affirmative action by the parliament. She states that the amendment as a separate class is a reasonable classification and also that the need to revisit the reservation system for the larger interest of society.
Justice JP Pardiwala concurs with Justice Maheshwari and Trivedi and upheld the EWS amendment.
However, CJI UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat gave dissent to the verdict stating reservation on economic basis is permissible SC/ST, OBCs cannot be excluded from it.
The EWS reservation was introduced through the 103rd constitutional amendment and was cleared in January 2019 by the Centre soon after the BJP lost the Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh elections.
Economic reservation in jobs and education was proposed to be provided by inserting clause (6) in Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution through the amendment passed by the Parliament in January 2019.
Post which the validity of Act was instantly challenged in the Supreme Court.