10% Quota For EWS Cleared: Introducing just before the 2019 general elections, the government introduced a 10 percent quota in jobs and education for the poor or EWS (Economically Weaker Sections).
The top 10 points of this verdict are as follows:
A majority judgment of the Supreme Court ruled that the EWS quota is not discriminatory and does not alter the basic structure of the constitution. Chief Justice UU Lalit, who retires tomorrow, dissented.
The other dissenting judge, Ravindra Bhat, supported economic quotas, but the constitution does not allow the exclusion of socially backward sections.
This amendment is constitutionally indefeasible on the basis of economic destitution and economic backwardness. However, excluding classes such as Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes (OBC) is not constitutionally permissible,” Justice Bhat said. “I concur with Justice Bhat. The decision stands at 3:2.
After the ruling BJP lost Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh elections in January 2019, the 103rd constitutional amendment introduced the EWS quota. The Supreme Court immediately challenged it.
Quotas bypass affirmative action that benefits traditionally marginalized groups in Indian society, such as SC, ST, and OBC.
A petition questioned how the quota could exceed the 50 percent national cap on reservation set by the Supreme Court in 1992 and whether it changed the constitution’s “basic structure.” The petitioners said the quota was a backdoor attempt to destroy the concept of reservation.
It was not opposed by most opposition parties, including the Congress. However, the Supreme Court heard 40 petitions against it, including from Tamil Nadu, which has among the highest reservations in the country.
In 2019, three judges referred the case to a larger five-judge bench. After a marathon six-and-a-half-day hearing in September, the court reserved its decision.
According to the government, the quota would help people out of poverty and would not reduce seats for the general category or affect existing backward class reservation.
One of the judges, Justice JB Pardiwala, said in court that reservations should not continue indefinitely so that they become vested interests. “Backward classes should be removed from those who have advanced, so that those who are in need can be helped. The ways to determine backward classes must be updated so they are relevant in today’s world,” said the judge.
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