Ews: SC rejects review of verdict confirming EWS share | News from India

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court rejected a request to review its November 2022 verdict in which it upheld the validity of the 103rd constitutional amendment to carve out a 10 percent reserve for economically weaker sections from the reservationless class for the admission to educational institutions and government jobs to argue that the 50% quota limit is not inviolable, and affirmative action on an economic basis can go a long way in eradicating caste-based reservation.
A bench of five judges consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices Dinesh MaheshwariS Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi e JB Pardiwala it said there was no error in the ruling, which could be reviewed, and rejected a number of review petitions filed by different parties, including the government of Tamil Nadu.
“After reviewing the petitions for review, there is no glaring error on the face of the record. No review cases under Order XLVII Rule 1 of the Supreme Court Rules of 2013. The review petitions are, therefore, dismissed,” the bench said. The order passed on May 9 but was uploaded on Tuesday .
A five-judge bench of then Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala approved the amendment with a 3:2 majority verdict, which would bring the total reserve to 59.50% in the central institutions.
While Justices Maheshwari, Trivedi and Pardiwala found no fault with the amendment stating that it was a right step towards an egalitarian society, then Chief Justice Lalit and Justice Bhat had stated that they do not allow poor people from SC/ ST/OBC to get benefit of EWS extension quota and allowing only the poor from class forward is discriminatory and “sounds a death knell for equality and the fraternal principle that permeates the equality code and the principle of non-discrimination”.
The ruling broadened the grounds for affirmative action beyond social and educational underdevelopment to include economic underdevelopment, while also paving the way for further attempts by governments to provide more than 50 percent of government jobs and educational institutions for reasons of social and educational backwardness as economic deprivation.
The amendment had been challenged on the grounds that the decision to reserve violated the “basic structure” of the Constitution.
“Reservation is an instrument of affirmative action by the state so as to ensure an all-encompassing path towards the goals of an egalitarian society by tackling inequalities; it is a tool not only for the inclusion of socially and educationally backward classes in society, but also for the inclusion of any class or section so disadvantaged that it fits the description of a weaker section. In this context, the individually structured reserve on economic criteria does not violate any essential feature of the Indian Constitution and does not cause any harm to the basic structure of the Constitution,” Justice Maheshwari said in his ruling.


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