The Supreme Court on Friday declined to order a stay on the Centre’s decision to grant 10% reservation in jobs and educational institutions to economically weak sections in the general category, PTI reported. The court tagged the plea filed by businessman Tehseen Poonawalla with similar pending petitions, and asked the Centre to respond.

The other petitions challenging the quota have been filed by organisations such as Janhit Abhiyan and Youth For Equality. On January 25, the court had said it would start hearing a batch of petitions challenging the law in four weeks.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Dravidar Kazhagam of Tamil Nadu have also moved court against the legislation. The Madras High Court issued a notice to the Centre on January 21 based on the DMK’s petition.

Poonawalla has argued that backwardness for the purpose of reservation cannot be defined by “economic status alone”. Youth for Equality has also made the same argument and alleged that the amendment bill violates the basic features of the Constitution.

Youth for Equality has questioned the timing of the government’s move and said the reservation law would “open a Pandora’s box” as “more and more political parties and caste groups will claim for increased percentage of reservations, both at the central and state level”.

Parliament passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Third) Amendment Act, 2019, on January 9. It came into effect five days later.