10% Quota Bill for Economically Weaker Challenged in Supreme Court as Unconstitutional

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January 10, 2019

In an interesting move, few hours pursuant to passage of Constitution (One hundred and Third Amendment) Bill, 2019 in both the houses of Parliament i.e. Government’s 10% quota bill for economically weaker has been challenged before the Supreme Court as violating the basic structure of the Constitution.

The Petition challenging the Bill has been instituted by the organization Youth for Equality on the ground that economic criteria cannot be the sole basis for reservation in view of Constitution Bench’s holding in Indira Sawhney vs. Union of India, whereby the Bench stated that the economic criteria cannot be the sole basis for reservations under the Constitution.

The Petitioner has also alleged that economic reservation cannot be limited to general category only as it violates the equality code which the basic structure of the Constitution.

Another pleading made in the petition pertains to the 50% ceiling limit stipulated by the Supreme Court in the case of M.Nagaraj Vs. Union of India, wherein the Court had held that that the ceiling-limit of 50%, the concept of creamy layer and the compelling reasons, namely, backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency are all constitutional requirements without which the structure of equality of opportunity in Article 16 would collapse.

Amidst all these developments and Centre’s heroic move just few months prior to general elections, let’s see whether the Bill amending Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution to provide reservation to economically weaker section of the society sees light of the day!!!