Published on: 06 November 2022 at 20:34 IST
The apex court recently delivered its verdict against the batch of petitions contesting the Constitutional validity of 103rd Constitutional Amendment which grants 10 percent reservation to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) among the forward castes.
The judgement was given by a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit and Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala.
There are two independent judgements, one by CJI Lalit and the other by Justice Bhat, according to the cause list on the website of the supreme court.
The Supreme Court had on September 27 concluded hearing the batch of pleas challenging the validity of the amendment.
A number of petitions challenging the amendment on the grounds that economic classification cannot be the exclusive basis for reservation, including those filed by the NGOs Janhit Abhiyan and Youth for Equality, will be decided on by the top court in this case.
The Amendment Act mandates that “economically weaker sections” of the population, other than Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and socially and educationally disadvantaged classes, be given priority for 10 percent of seats in public and private educational institutions as well as in government employment.
The petitioners argued during the hearing that the amendment contradicts the Constitution’s fundamental principles and the 50 percent overall limit on reservations required by the ruling in the Indra Sawhney case.
They contended that the 10% reserve of seats for EWS other than SC/ST/OBCs was arbitrary and unreasonable.
Attorney General for India KK Venugopal had framed the constitutional questions of law for consideration as under:
– Whether the 103rd Constitution Amendment can be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution by permitting the State to make special provisions, including reservation, based on economic criteria?
– Whether the 103rd Constitution Amendment can be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution by permitting the State to make special provisions in relation to admission to private unaided institutions?
– Whether the 103rd Constitution Amendment can be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution in excluding the SEBCs/OBCs/SCs/STs from the scope of EWS reservation?