Bill granting 10 percent reservation to EWS of general category challenged in Supreme Court

A day after the upper House of the Parliament, Rajya Sabha cleared the passage for the passage of the bill granting 10 percent reservation to EWS of the general category, a petition challenging the bill filed in the Top Court on Thursday. The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019. 10% general reservation for EWS bill gets Rajya Sabha approval too, step away to become law

The petition filed by the NGO, Youth for Equality, stated that amendment brought up by the government granting 10 percent reservation to the upper castes violates several basic features of the constitution. The President of the NGO, [outfit opposing caste-based reservations] Kaushal Kant said, that ‘The amendment, which introduced Articles 15(6) and 16(6) into the Constitution, violates the equality code of the Constitution and was in “breach of the basic structure of the Constitution’. as reported by an English newspaper.

The Petition filed by the NGO pointed out that the Supreme Court in 2006, M. Nagaraj vs Union of India,  had made it clear that the reservation capping should not exceed 50 percent reservation. The Existing reservation is breaching that set by the Apex Court.

The petition filed by the NGO pointed out the top court judgment of 1992 in the Indira Sawhney vs Union of India case, where a Constitution bench had specifically stated that economic criteria cannot be the sole basis for reservations under the Constitution.

The NGO further alleged that reservation is done in order to have political gains in the run-up to the Lok Sabha 2019 Polls.

The Bill that gets its approval from Rajya Sabha on Wednesday was also passed by majority ‘ayes’ in Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaking in the Lok Sabha rejected suggestions that the measure may fall foul of a Supreme Court judgment putting a cap of 50 percent and asserted that top Court has put a bar caste-based reservations, while the bill seeks quota for the economically weaker sections in the general category.

Despite many Political Parties terming it as an electoral stunt, “political gimmick”, almost all backed the bill, which, in a first, extends reservation to upper castes. The Centre’s move is seen as an attempt to address grievances of the upper castes ahead of 2019 General Elections.

 

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