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SC to examine Quota for EWS

  • Published
    9th Sep, 2022
Context:

A Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court, hearing petitions against the 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in government jobs and admissions, would be examining ‘whether it violates the basic structure or not’.

What is 103rd Amendment Act?

Criteria for reservation

  • Annual income of the person should be less than 8 lakh.
  • The person should have no less than 5 acres of farmland.
  • People who have a house but less than 1000 square feet in a town.
  • The 103 Constitution Amendment Act provides the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes with a 10% reservation for-
    • admission to central government and private educational institutions
    • recruitment into central government jobs
About

Article amended

Addition of new clause (6) in Articles 15 and 16.

  • Article 15(6) empowers states to make special provision for advancement of any EWS other than those mentioned and to make a special provision on their admission to educational institutions — including aided or unaided private — other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of Article 30.
    • This is in addition to existing reservation and subject to a maximum of 10 per cent of the total seats in each category.
  • Article 16 (6) empowers the State to make any provision for reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any EWS other than classes mentioned in clause (4), in addition to the existing reservation and subject to a maximum of 10 per cent of the posts in each category.

Key-points highlighted in the petitions

Basic structure doctrine of the Constitution is like the main pillar of the Indian Constitution. The basic structure cannot be damaged and destroyed.

As per the petitioners:

  • amendments were ‘ultra vires’ as they alter the basic structure of the Constitution
  • amendments run contrary to the majority judgment in Indra Sawhney & Ors. V. Union of India case, that a backward class cannot be determined only and exclusively with reference to economic criterion
  • reservation of 10 per cent of vacancies, in available vacancies/posts, in open competition on the basis of economic criterion will exclude all other classes of those above the demarcating line of such ten per cent seats
  • reservation in unaided institutions violates the fundamental right under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution
  • Under which the state cannot insist on any private educational institutions which receive no aid from it to implement the policy on reservation for granting admission on any criterion except merit.
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