Tamil Nadu Political Parties to File a Review Petition Against SC’s EWS Verdict

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The ruling DMK, PMK, and AMMK led by AIADMK rebel T T V Dhinakaran termed the SC judgment as a “setback” to the state’s century-old fight for social justice.

Syed Ali Mujtaba

CHENNAI — Political parties in Tamil Nadu including the ruling DMK, PMK, and AMMK led by AIADMK rebel T T V Dhinakaran termed the SC verdict on 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) among the forward caste as a “setback” to the state’s century-old fight for social justice.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin recalled that it was the DMK that paved the way for the first constitutional amendment to safeguard social justice.  “It is DMK which is leading the legal battle against the EWS quota introduced by BJP-led Union Government in 2019,” Stalin said and appealed to like-minded parties to unite and raise voice against the SC verdict.

MLA Udainidhi Stalin, leader of the DMK Youth Wing, termed the judgment an obstacle for the people who progress with the help of social justice. He said it is an “injustice delivered to the BC/SC/STs in the country”.

Thol Thirumavalavan, leader of Tamil Nadu’s political party, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), has said his party will file a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict.

Asserting that since economic status cannot be taken as an indicator of social justice, VCK supremo Thirumavalavan suggested that the issue of the reservations has to be resolved in the political space and not by the judiciary. “We appeal to everyone to fight the BJP government’s EWS quota which is against OBC people, who form the majority of Hindus. We also appeal to Congress and Left parties to change their stance and oppose the EWS quota,” Thirumavalavan said.

AIADMK rebel T T V Dhinakaran asked Chief Minister M K Stalin to ensure that the 69 per cent reservation remains “untouched” in Tamil Nadu

Anbumani Ramadoss, PMK chief and former Union Health Minister, said the verdict was against the “principles” of social justice being followed in the country.  “India is a country which has an unequal society. To ensure equality, reservation should be provided on the basis of social status, not economic status. People’s economic status changes from time to time and reservations based on economic status will at best be a poverty alleviation programme. It will never ensure social justice,” he said.

However, the principal Opposition party, AIADMK, did not comment on the issue. So did Congress and the Left parties which supported the EWS quota when it was introduced in Parliament in 2019.

The broad consensus among political parties in Tamil Nadu is the EWS quota is unjust as economic status can’t be the indicator for providing reservation. They appealed to everyone should come together and fight against such unjust judgment. 

The apex court upheld the 10 per cent EWS quota by a 3-2 verdict stating that it does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution. While Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela M Trivedi, and J B Pardiwala agreed that the amendment does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution, Chief Justice of India U U Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat disagreed.

Justice S Ravindra Bhat, along with Chief Justice U U Lalit, differed with the majority view that upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019. He said the EWS quota sanctioned avowedly exclusionary and discriminatory principle.

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Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com

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