The 103rd Constitutional Amendment grants 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to the “economically weaker sections [EWS] of the society,” but excludes the “poorest of the poor” among Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes, is set to be decided on by a five-judge Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit on November 7.
Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S. Ravindra Bhat, Bela M. Trivedi, and J.B. Pardiwala are the other members of the bench.
Chief Justice Lalit’s last working day is November 7.
The case was reserved for the decision on September 27 after the Constitution Bench heard marathon arguments for seven days.
The judgement may address important issues such as whether the EWS quota violated the Constitution’s Basic Structure, whether the reservation violated the equality code’s requirement to treat everyone equally and without discrimination, and—more importantly—whether the reservation harmed the chances of future merit-based candidates.
According to the administration, the 10% limit did not increase the 50% cap on reservations. The EWS quota was described as a “separate compartment.” The government was questioned by the court several times during the hearing on whether the EWS quota will take any of the 50% of non-reserved or open positions that are up for grabs and are selected solely on the basis of merit. The court has also contested the exclusion of underprivileged groups from receiving.
To fulfil the EWS quota, the government has said that it will increase seats in its institutions by 25%.
Being a member of the forward classes has never before been made a requirement for receiving government help, according to Dr. Mohan Gopal in his response.
Fundamental rights are individualistic, according to attorney Kaleeswaram Raj, and the government’s reasoning for omitting SC, ST, and OBCs on the grounds that they already receive the benefits of the 50% quota is invalid.
P. Wilson, a senior counsel, had questioned whether uplift could occur through reservation. According to him, reservations are not a plan to fight poverty.
Senior attorney Sanjay Parikh claimed that the Constitution cannot support a reservation that is purely based on economic criteria.
In favour of the quota, attorney V.K. Biju argued that the amendment was democratically enacted and wasn’t a constitutional fraud. It was a step toward a casteless society, he claimed.