SC refuses to stay 10% quota for general category poor; to examine need for referring case to constitution bench on 28 Mar
Declining to stay the 10 percent quota for Economically Weaker Sections, the Supreme Court on Monday said that it will examine on 28 March if a Constitution Bench should hear the matter
SC declines to impose a stay on the 10 percent quota for Economically Weaker Sections
The next hearing will be on 28 March, where the need for a Constitution Bench will be decided
SC had earlier quashed petitions seeking a stay on the quota
Declining to stay the 10 percent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), the Supreme Court on Monday said that it will examine on 28 March if a constitution bench should hear the matter. The apex court was hearing pleas challenging a 10 percent quota in jobs and education for the EWS of the general category.
The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, asked senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who was appearing for the petitioner, to file a short note of the points which they have raised in their application.
Last month, a Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had sought the Centre’s response on a plea by Tehseen Poonawalla challenging the reservation, while rejecting the demand for a stay on it. Earlier petitions by parties, including NGO Youth for Equality and Janhit Abhiyan, were also quashed by the bench.
The petition by Youth For Equality claimed that the bill violates basic feature of the Constitution as reservation on economic grounds cannot be limited to the general category and the overall 50 percent ceiling limit cannot be breached. In the present form, the upper limit of quota goes up to 60 percent which violated the decisions of the apex court.
The petition by Poonwalaa sought that the bill be quashed as backwardness cannot be defined by the ‘economic status alone’. It cited a Supreme Court order in the 1992 Indra Sawhney case, stating that quota should be based on social background.
The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha cleared the Constitutional Amendment bill on 8 and 9 January respectively, giving quota benefits to the poor among the general category. It was approved by President Ram Nath Kovind on 12 January and came into effect on 14 January. The quota was over and above the 50 percent reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs.
With inputs from PTI
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