Supreme Court to Centre: Rs 8L Limit for EWS making ‘Unequals Equals’

Swarna Shukla-

Published On: October 21, 2021 at 15:30 IST

The Supreme Court asked tough questions to Central Government over its decision to adopt the criteria of the annual income of Rupees 8 lakhs for deciding the eligibility for the Economic Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation in the NEET-All India Quota.

A Bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice Vikram Nath and Justice BV Nagarathna expressed resentment at the Centre for not filing an Affidavit on the issue, although the Court raised several doubts about the EWS criteria. 

The Bench sought to know about the steps taken by the Centre for adopting this criterion for arriving at a policy decision to determine its constitutionality.

The Court agreed that the EWS criteria were ultimately a policy matter. 

“You must have some demographic or sociological or socio-economic data. You just cannot pull out 8 lakh from thin air…you are making unequals equals by applying the Rs 8 lakh limit”, Justice Chandrachud told Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj.

Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj submitted that he needed to get instructions from the Ministry of Social Welfare and the Department of Personnel and Training, which was added as Respondents later. 

The Bench passed an Order formulating certain issues on which it sought specific responses from the Centre.

The Court was considering a batch of Petitions filed by NEET aspirants challenging the decision of the Central Government to introduce 27% OBC and 10% EWS reservation in the NEET-AIQ.

Also Read: Supreme Court to Centre: Explain Rs. 8 Lakh Income Limit for EWS

Supreme Court stays Kerala HC proceedings over EWS Reservation

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