Reservation for economically weak sections: Economic criterion can’t be basis, says petition in SC

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday, challenging the Bill to provide 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections in the general category in jobs and education.

Published: 11th January 2019 06:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2019 06:15 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday, challenging the Bill to provide 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections in the general category in jobs and education.

The petition, filed by Youth for Equality organisation and Kaushal Kant Mishra, sought the quashing of the Bill, saying that the economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for reservation. 

The petitioners pointed out that in the case of ‘Indra Sawhney versus Union of India’, the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court “specifically stated that the economic criteria cannot be the sole basis for reservations under the Constitution”.

The plea said the Bill violates the basic feature of the Constitution as reservation on economic grounds cannot be limited to general categories and the 50 per cent ceiling limit on overall reservations cannot be breached.

The bill was passed unanimously by the Upper House of Parliament on Wednesday. The quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation to SCs, STs and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
“By way of the present amendments, the exclusion of the OBCs and the SCs/STs from the scope of the economic reservation essentially implies that only those who are poor from the general categories would avail the benefits of the quotas,” the plea stated.

The Rajya Sabha session had to be extended by a day for the government to put the Bill to vote on Wednesday. Once it was passed, although Opposition parties supported it, they questioned the urgency behind the government’s move.   

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