SC refuses to stay 10% EWS quota but says will examine

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Refusing to stay the implementation of 10 per cent quota to the economically weaker in general category, the Supreme Court Friday said “we will examine” the matter. A bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Rajan Gogoi, issued notice on the petitions challenging the reservation.

There are two petitions in the apex court which challenge the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019. NGO Youth For Equality and political activist Tehseen Poonawalla have moved two pleas in the court.

The petition by Youth For Equality stated: “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. Taken together with the fact that the high creamy layer limit of Rs 8 lakh per annum ensures that the elite in the OBCs and SCs/STs capture the reservation benefits repeatedly, the poor sections of these categories remain completely deprived.”

Meanwhile, Poonawalla has argued that backwardness for the purpose of reservation cannot be defined by “economic status alone”.

Both Houses of Parliament passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Bill, 2019, during the winter session, providing 10 per cent quota for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among the upper caste in government jobs and higher education institutions.

Several states have already implemented the quota, including Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

Under the Act, people whose families have a gross annual income of up to Rs 8 lakh, from all sources, can avail the quota. Families which own over five acres agricultural land, over 1,000 square feet house, over 100 yard plot in notified municipal area, or over 200 yard plot in non-notified municipal area cannot avail the benefit of this reservation.

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