50% ceiling can be broken: Govt in SC on 10% EWS quota

On Wednesday the Government  defended in the Supreme Court it’s introduction of 10% reservation as EWS quota for the poor in education and jobs, saying that the court mandated 50% limit on quotas is the rule to be followed, but some exceptions can be made in extraordinary situations. 

A three judge bench headed by Justice S.A Bobde, was hearing a string of petitions challenging the validity  of the EWS quota introduced in the 103rd constitutional amendment.

The main contentions of the petitioners was that this 10% EWS quota is surpassing meaning it is exclusive of the 50% court imposed upper-limit on reservations which are 15%, 7.5% and 27% already allotted to SC, ST and OBC respectively.

50% ceiling can be broken: Government in SC on 10% EWS quota

The government’s view that the court mandated quota ceiling of 50% in the 103rd amendment  was not inviolate was propounded by its senior-most law officer, Attorney General KK Venugopal. He insisted that the 50% rule would normally apply but exceptions can be made if the situation so demanded . Attorney General KK Venugopal said the court had restricted the meaning of backward to imply only socially and educationally backward classes, leaving the government with no option but to bring in the quota for the poor. 

“It is wrong to say that 50%  ceiling on reservation exists. The court said that 50% limit is not a mandate.” Argued Attorney General K.K. Venugopal.

Rajeev Dhawan, a senior advocate has demanded the case to be examined by a larger bench as any increase beyond the 50% limit as mandated by the court would infringe the equality principle highlighted in the Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

The bench after hearing both sides said it will hear arguments on interim stay on the implementation of the EWS quota if the case is referred to a constitutional bench.


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