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Congress Leader Files Review Petition in SC Against Judgment Upholding EWS Reservation

NEW DELHI — Congress leader Jaya Thakur has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court challenging its recent judgment upholding the validity of the 103rd Constitution Amendment providing 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections (EWS) persons in admissions and government jobs.

The petition said: “The 10 per cent reservation provided to the EWS of only forward caste, is breach of equality code amounting to discrimination. Neither the parliamentary debate while passing the impugned amendment nor the majority judgments give insights as to what rationale was adopted to come to this figure of 10 per cent.”

It further added that the only ad-hoc commission established in this regard was the Sinho Commission and even this was unable to justify or give any reasoning for provisioning of 10 per cent reservation for EWS category. “In the present amendment, OBC/SC/ST are not entitled to take the benefits of the Reservation. This is in violation of the Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India,” said the petition.

The petition said in the Madhya Pradesh OBC population is more than 50 per cent but OBC reservation in MP State Service & Educational institution only 13 per cent. It added that this is an admitted position in Madhya Pradesh that Schedule Caste community is 16 per cent of the total population and they have got proportionate reservation of 16 per cent, similarly Schedule Tribe are 20 per cent of total population and they have got proportionate reservation of 20 per cent.

“While OBC community is getting only 14 per cent reservation despite their population being approx 50 per cent. The forward caste population is only 6 per cent. Post the impugned amendment 10 per cent reservation for EWS will be provided to the poor of forward caste. The numbers clearly show that this reservation of 10 per cent is disproportionate and there is no grounds or justification whatsoever for arriving at this figure…,” said the plea.

On November 7, four separate judgments were authored with different reasoning by a five-judge bench of the apex court. Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela Trivedi and J.B. Pardiwala, in three separate judgments, upheld the 103rd amendment. However, Justice S Ravindra Bhat along with then Chief Justice U U Lalit, in a minority verdict, struck down the 103rd Constitution amendment saying reservations for EWS based upon the economic criteria is on par with reservations which the Constitution mandated, and envisioned as a pledge to create an equal society, is constitutionally unsound.

The review petition contended that the apex court had already fixed the maximum limit of reservation up to 50 per cent in the case of Indra Sawhney, which was passed by the 9 judges bench and same is binding in nature on the 5 judges bench. “Article 141 of the Constitution of India is the basic structure of the Constitution and hence upholding the 103rd Amendment is an error of the face of records,” it added. — IANS

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