The Supreme Court Friday declined to stay the implementation of ten per cent reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the unreserved categories. The court has issued a notice to the Centre on the fresh plea challenging the constitutional amendment.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi tagged the plea filed by political activist Tehseen Poonawala along with similar pending petitions. Backwardness for the purpose of reservation cannot be defined by “economic status alone”, contended the plea by Poonawalla challenging the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019.
“The Constitutional amendment formally violated the law laid down by the Supreme Court’s 1992 ruling in Indira Sawhney case…and the principle that backwardness for the purposes of reservation cannot be defined on economic status alone but must be rooted in social exclusion,” the plea said, pointing out the 1992 apex court verdict in the Mandal case where it ruled that overall reservation cannot exceed 50 per cent.
The latest amendment had violated the 50 per cent ceiling and reservation now stands at 60 per cent, the plea states.
The apex court had, on January 25 too, declined to stay the ten per cent reservation introduced by the BJP-led NDA government, and had issued a notice to the central government, saying it “will examine” whether the move was constitutional. “No stay for the present”, the court had then said.