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India

A Congress leader petitions the SC for review of the ruling sustaining the EWS reservation

The Hawk
November23/ 2022

New Delhi (The Hawk): Congress leader Jaya Thakur has petitioned the Supreme Court for a review of its recent decision maintaining the legality of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment's provision for 10% reservation in admissions and government employment for members of economically weaker sections (EWS).

The letter stated: "The 10% reservation given to the EWS, which only consists of forward caste people, violates the equality code and constitutes discrimination. Insights into the reasoning behind the choice of this 10% figure are not provided by either the majority verdicts or the parliamentary debate during the passage of the contested amendment."

It was also said that the only ad hoc panel created in this regard, the Sinho Commission, was unable to provide any justification for the allocation of a 10% reservation for the EWS category. "OBC/SC/ST are not eligible to receive the benefits of the Reservation under the current modification. Articles 14 and 16 of the Indian Constitution are violated by this "the petition stated.

According to the appeal, OBCs make up more than 50% of the population in Madhya Pradesh, yet only 13% of seats in state-funded institutions of higher education are reserved for them. It continued by stating that it is a well-known fact in Madhya Pradesh that the Schedule Caste community makes up 16% of the total population and receives proportionate reservations of 16%; similarly, the Schedule Tribe make up 20% of the total population and receive proportionate reservations of 20%.

"While OBCs receive only 14% of reservations despite making up around 50% of the population. Only 6% of the population are members of the advanced caste. The poor of the advanced caste will receive 10% EWS reservation following the contested amendment. The data plainly demonstrate that the 10% reservation is excessive, and there is no basis or explanation for how this percentage was determined "It was pleaded.

A five-judge bench of the supreme court issued four different verdicts on various grounds on November 7. The 103rd Amendment was affirmed by Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela Trivedi, and J.B. Pardiwala in three different rulings. But in a minority decision, Justice S Ravindra Bhat and then-Chief Justice U U Lalit declared the 103rd Constitutional Amendment unconstitutional, arguing that reservations for EWS based on economic criteria are on par with reservations that the Constitution mandated and envisioned as a pledge to create an equal society.

According to the review petition, the supreme court already set the maximum level of reservation at 50% in the case of Indra Sawhney, which was decided by a bench of nine justices, and that decision is now binding on a bench of five judges. It went on to say that "Article 141 of the Constitution of India is the essential structure of the Constitution and sustaining the 103rd Amendment is an error of records."

(Inputs from Agencies)