Friday, December 1, 2023

SC upholds EWS quota in 3:2 split verdict

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The 103rd Amendment Act of 2019 to the Constitution, which allows for 10% reserves for members of the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in matters of higher education and public employment, was maintained by the Supreme Court in a majority decision on Monday. The court also noted that it does not contradict fundamental provisions of the Constitution.

The 103rd Amendment Act of 2019 was upheld by a five-judge Constitution bench in a decision that was 3:2 in favour of the Act. CJI UU Lalit agreed with Justice S Ravindra Bhat and issued a dissenting ruling.

Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela Trivedi, and JB Pardiwala made up the majority of the court and affirmed the EWS modification. The EWS modification, according to Justice Maheshwari, “does not violate the equality code or the fundamental provisions of the Constitution.”

In agreement with Justice Maheshwari, Justice Bela M. Trivedi stated that the EWS quota in the general category is legitimate and constitutional in her ruling.

The decision maintaining the Act was made by CJI Lalit, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela M Trivedi, and JB Pardiwala.

There would be a total of four verdicts issued in the case, according to Chief Justice of India UU Lalit.

The Chief Justice of India, UU Lalit, stated on Monday that “there are four judgements to be given on the subject pertaining to the constitutional validity of the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservations in higher education and concerns of public employment on the basis of financial constraints.”

After all parties had finished their arguments in September last week, the order was reserved by the constitution bench, which was made up of Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S. Ravindra Bhat, Bela M. Trivedi, and J.B. Pardiwala.

Concerns about the constitutionality of reservations made on the basis of economic circumstances were being handled by the Constitution Bench. On September 13, the court started hearing the case, and it was heard for seven days.

The 103rd Amendment Act of 2019’s constitutional viability allowed the State to make reservations in regards to public employment and higher education on the only basis of economic grounds. The primary issue is the Janhit Abhiyan petition.

The case brought by Janhit Abhiyan concerns the constitutional legality of the 103rd Amendment Act, 2019, which allowed the State to create reservations in subjects of public employment and higher education based only on economic factors.

Additionally, the Janhit case is being tried concurrently with an appeal the Andhra Pradesh government filed against the High Court’s decision to overturn its 2005 judgement giving reservations in education and the public sector for the entirety of the State’s Muslim population.

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