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Supreme Court holds amendment providing 10 per cent EWS reservation valid

Print edition : Nov 14, 2022 T+T-

Supreme Court holds amendment providing 10 per cent EWS reservation valid

The Supreme Court of India in New Delhi.

The Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: -

CJI Lalit concurred with the view of Justice Bhat, who dissented in his minority view.

The Supreme Court, by a majority view of 3:2, on November 7 upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitution amendment providing 10 per cent reservation to people belonging to economically weaker sections (EWS) in admissions and government jobs. The top court said the law on EWS quota does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution.

At the outset, Chief Justice U.U. Lalit said there are four different judgments on pleas challenging the EWS quota. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, who read the judgment for himself, said the 103rd constitutional amendment cannot be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution. Justice Bela M. Trivedi said the 103rd constitutional amendment cannot be struck down on grounds of being discriminatory. Justice J.B. Pardiwala concurred with their views and upheld the validity of the amendment.

Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, in a minority view, dissented and struck down the constitutional amendment on EWS quota. CJI Lalit concurred with the view of Justice Bhat.

A bench of Supreme Court judges during a verdict on 10 per cent quota in colleges and government jobs for the poor or EWS (Economically Weaker Sections), in New Delhi on November 7.
A bench of Supreme Court judges during a verdict on 10 per cent quota in colleges and government jobs for the poor or EWS (Economically Weaker Sections), in New Delhi on November 7. | Photo Credit: PTI

In the last week of September, the Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, Justice Bela M. Trivedi, and Justice J.B. Pardiwala, reserved the order after all the parties concluded their arguments.

The Constitution Bench was dealing with issues relating to the Constitutional validity of reservations on the basis of economic conditions. The court has begun hearing the matter on September 13 and the hearing was heard for seven days.

The constitutional validity of the 103rd Amendment Act, 2019, enabled the State to make reservations in higher education and matters of public employment on the basis of economic criteria alone.

BJP leaders laud SC’s order

The BJP lauded the Supreme Court decision and said it is a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his “mission” to provide social justice to the country’s poor.

BJP general secretary (organisation) B.L. Santhosh said, “Supreme Court upholds the legality of EWS reservation for unreserved sections. Another big credit for PM Narendra Modi’s vision of Gareeb Kalyan. A big boost in the direction of social justice .” BJP general secretary C.T. Ravi echoed this view.