Savvy Thakur

Published on: October 29, 2022 at 13:13 IST

The verdict of the Supreme Court on the 103rd Constitutional Amendment, which established a 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in public employment and education, is likely to be released next week.

A five-judge bench that consisted of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi, and JB Pardiwala held a hearing on the matter for seven days.

It is important to note that Chief Justice UU Lalit will retire on November 8, 2022.

The petitions questioned the Constitution (103rd) Amendment Act of 2019’s legality.

In the January 2019 amendment approved by Parliament, economic reservation in employment and education was proposed to be provided by inserting clause (6) into Articles 15 and 16.

Article 15(6) made it possible for the state to make special arrangements for the advancement of economically disadvantaged citizens, including reservations in educational institutions.

It says that such a reservation can be made in any educational establishment, private or public, aided or unaided, with the exception of minority educational establishments covered by Article 30(1).

In addition to the reservations that are already in place, it also states that the upper limit of the reservation will be ten percent. A number of petitions challenging the constitutionality of economic reservation were filed with the Supreme Court following the President’s notification of the amendment.

A three-judge bench that included Justice BR Gavai, Justice R Subhash Reddy, and the then-CJI SA Bobde referred the cases to the Constitution Bench on August 5, 2020.

Questions raised included whether affirmative action could be provided solely on the basis of economic status and whether the ceiling limit of 50% for reservation could be exceeded in exceptional circumstances.

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