EWS quota: SC fixes three questions to consider while deciding on pleas challenging provision
All three points that a constitution bench will consider pertain to whether the amendment is in violation of the basic structure of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed three broad questions that it will consider while adjudicating a group of petitions challenging the Centre’s decision to grant reservation to economically weaker sections in educational institutions and government jobs, PTI reported.
Attorney General KK Venugopal presented the three points before the court. A constitution bench headed by Chief Justice UU Lalit said that the points broadly covered all aspects related to the petitions.
The petitioners have challenged the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act, which provides the basis for a 10% quota for economically weaker sections.
All three points that the constitution bench will consider pertain to whether the amendment is in violation of the basic structure of the Constitution.
The first question that the court will consider is whether the amendment breaches the basic structure of the Constitution by permitting the State to provide for reservation based on economic criteria, according to The Hindu. The second one pertains to whether there was any breach in the State making special provisions regarding admissions to private unaided institutions.
The third question before the court is whether the amendment violates the basic structure of the Constitution by excluding Social and Educationally Backward Classes of Citizens, Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from the quota for economically weaker sections.
The court will start arguments in the case from August 13.
The Supreme Court had laid down the basic structure doctrine in its judgement in the Kesavananda Bharati versus State of Kerala case in 1973. The majority verdict in the case had stated that Parliament had vast powers to amend the Constitution, but it could not change certain parts of the document that constituted its basic structure.
The court had held that fundamental rights could not be taken away through amendments to the Constitution.
In August 2020, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court had referred petitions challenging the 103rd Constitutional Amendment to a five-judge bench. The court had refused to stay the implementation of the amendment.