10% quota for poor challenged in Supreme Court
The Bill to provide 10 per cent reservation to general category poor in jobs and education was Thursday challenged in the Supreme Court on the grounds it breached the 50 per cent ceiling on quotas, barely a day after the measure secured parliamentary approval.
A petition filed by an NGO ‘Youth For Equality’ organisation and its president Dr Kaushal Kant Mishra said in the present form the upper limit of quota goes up to 60 per cent which violated the decisions of the apex court.
The organisation sought a stay and quashing of the Constitution
(One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019, as it was violative of the basic structure of the Constitution and that the economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for reservation. The Bill now goes to the President for approval.
It was contended that reservation on economic grounds cannot be limited to the general categories and that the 50 per cent ceiling limit cannot be breached.
Referring to the nine-judge bench decision of the apex court in the landmark 1992 Indira Sawhney case, the petition said the latest amendment completely violated the constitutional norm that economic criterion cannot be the only basis of reservation. “Such an amendment is hence vulnerable and ought to be struck down, as it merely negates a binding judgment,” it said.
It also said that the amendments fail to consider that Articles 14 and 16 form the basic feature of equality, and that they have been violated with the doing away of the restraints that were imposed on the reservation policy, i.e. the 50 per cent ceiling limit and the exclusion of economic status as a sole criterion.