Supreme Court refuses to stay 10% reservation to EWS, agrees to hear the petitions challenging quota

The apex court said that they are examining the issue and issued a notice to the centre to reply within four weeks.

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear petitions challenging the 103rd Constitution Amendment Act, 2019 but refused to put a stay on new reservation policy which intends to provide 10 per cent reservation for Economically weaker sections of the society, reported ANI.

According to reports, a bench comprising of CJI Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna today issued a notice to the centre after it agreed to hear pleas challenging the Constitution(103rd) Amendment. The apex court said that they are examining the issue and issued a notice to the centre to reply within four weeks.

However, the Supreme Court refused to stay the implementation of 10 per cent reservation to the economically weaker section of the general category. The petition is filed by an NGO named “Youth For Equality”, which contends that the new law violates the “basic structure” of the Constitution.

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Citing the Supreme Court’s judgement in 1992 Indira Sawhney’s case, the NGO through its petition claimed that granting reservation solely based on the economic criteria violates both the Constitution and Supreme Court’s 1992 observation.

The NGO further adds that the amendment, which intends to provide 10% reservation to the economically weaker sections in addition to the existing reservations, breaches the 50% cap set by Supreme Court in the Indira Sawhney case.

Youth For Equality (YFE) is an NGO that claims to have been formed in the aftermath of the 27% OBC quota bill in educational institutions mooted by the UPA government in 2006. ‘Casteless Society’, ‘Education for All’ and ‘Good Governance’ are some of the ideas that the NGO claims to aim at.

The Narendra Modi government had announced its historic decision to provide an additional 10% to Economically Weaker Sections from the general category apart from the existing 50% reservation. The move by the NDA government gathers special significance as it was widely speculated that Upper Caste anger over the SC/ST Act amendment bill led to BJP’s downfall in recent state elections.

The Narendra Modi government has also bypassed the Indira Sawhney judgment through its Constitutional Amendment by adding provisions for an entirely new class of reservations that the Court will have to review independently without considering caste and the 50% cap on reservations.

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