A division bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna today (25 January) refused to stay the 103rd constitutional amendment, reports The Tribune.
This recently passed amendment paves the way for the government to implement a 10 per cent quota for economically backward sections (EWS) of the general category,
Colloquially, this means that the government can proceed with rolling out the new quota in government jobs and educational institutions.
However, the court has issued a notice to the central government seeking its reply to the petition challenging the new amendment. The centre will need to respond to the notice within the next four weeks.
The petition challenging the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, which was passed by both houses of Parliament on 9 January, has been filed by an NGO called Youth for Equality.
The petitioner contends that the newly inserted Article 15(6) and Article 16(6) of the Constitution are against the judgement of the apex court in the Indira Sawhney case which created a 50 per cent ceiling on reservation and are in violation of the basic structure doctrine.
Furthermore, the petition contends that economic status cannot be the sole criterion for reservation, and that there cannot be a quota which only helps those in the general category.
Another line of argument in the petition is that the imposition of reservation on unaided and private institutions went against the precedent established by the Supreme Court.
“Both the Constitution Bench judgments in TMA Pai Foundation (2002) and PA Inamdar (2005) make it clear that the state’s reservation policy could not be imposed on unaided educational institutes, and as they are not receiving any aid from the state, they can have their own admissions provided they are fair, transparent, non-exploitative and based on merit,” it was submitted in the petition.