A batch of petitions challenging the Modi government's decision to grant 10% reservation to economically weaker section in general category will come up for hearing before the Supreme Court on Friday.
A batch of petitions challenging the Modi government’s decision to grant 10% reservation to economically weaker section in general category will come up for hearing before the Supreme Court on Friday. The petitions challenge the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 that was passed by the Parliament earlier this month paving the way for grant of reservation to general category people.
Businessman Tehseen Poonawalla who has also filed a plea, has sought the quashing of the bill saying that backwardness for the purpose of reservation cannot be defined by economic status alone. His petition argued that the Constitutional amendment formally violated the law laid down by the Supreme Court’s 1992 ruling in Indira Sawhney case and the principle that backwardness for the purposes of reservation cannot be defined on economic status alone but must be rooted in social exclusion.
He also referred to the 1992 nine-judge bench verdict, also known as Mandal case, to say that it was laid down that the overall reservation cannot exceed 50% but the recent Bill has breached that.
Poonawalla has urged the court to pass an order immediately to stay the implementation of new clauses in Articles 15 and Article 16 of the Constitution that promises 10% reservation to general category people.
Earlier on Saturday, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said that it will hear together all the petitions contesting the bill to amend the constitution.
Youth For Equality, an organisation against caste-based policies and reservations, has also sought quashing of the bill saying it violates the ‘equality code’ of the Constitution as reservation on economic grounds cannot be restricted to general category. It also noted that the decision has breached the 50% ceiling limit set by the court.
The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Parliament in the first week of January. President Ram Nath Kovind has also given his consent to the bill.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Personnel has issued an official order stating that beginning next month, all central government posts will be filled after factoring in the recently approved 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS).
As per the set guidelines, persons who are not covered under the existing scheme of reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and socially and educationally backward classes and whose family has gross annual income below Rs 8 lakh are to be identified as EWSs for the benefit of reservation. Persons whose family owns or possesses five acres of agricultural land and above, residential flat of 1,000 sq ft and above; residential plot of 100 sq yards and above in notified municipalities and residential plot of 200 sq yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities shall be excluded from being identified as EWSs, irrespective of the family income.
To avail the benefits, the income and assets of the families will be required to be certified by an officer not below the rank of Tehsildar in States/Union territories. The HRD Ministry will separately issue instructions regarding reservation in admission to educational institutions.