The Supreme Court’s constitution bench upheld the central statute granting 10% reservation benefits to economically weaker sections (EWS) 3-2 on Monday, with Justice Dinesh Maheshwari declaring it does not violate the Constitution’s essential structure or equality rule by taking economic criteria into account.

He claims that exceeding the 50% quota ceiling does not harm any vital features because the ceiling is changeable. Justice JB Pardiwala, who also ruled in favor of the statute, stated that reserve should not be extended indefinitely to become a subject of entrenched interest.

The law was also supported by Justice Bela M Trivedi, although Justice S Ravindra Bhat dissented, calling it discriminatory and against the basic structure. “The EWS quota rule is based on the idea of exclusion and perpetuates prejudice,” Justice Bhat said. Chief Justice of India (CJI) Uday Umesh Lalit agreed.


The Constitution Bench determined the number of legal questions concerning the constitutionality of the 103rd Constitution Amendment, which provides for a 10% reservation for EWS.

Articles 15(6) and 16(6) of the Constitution were amended to provide 10% reservation in jobs and admissions to EWS, or those who do not belong to the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), or Other Backward Classes (OBC) and have an annual family income of less than Rs. 8 lakh.

The legal issues included whether the amendment violated the basic structure of the Constitution by allowing the State to make special provisions, such as reservation, based on economic criteria, or by allowing the State to make special provisions in relation to admission to private unaided institutions.

The court’s decision was expected to shift the paradigm that has controlled reservations in India, forbidding states from implementing quotas that exceed the 50% barrier set by the Supreme Court in 1992. It also makes a decision based on economic grounds as the primary yardstick for providing reservation to upper castes while leaving conventionally designated backward classes such as SC, ST, and OBC out of the ambit of the quota benefits under this law.

The court deferred its decision on the petitions challenging the constitutionality of the EWS quota on September 27, claiming that the 103rd Constitutional Amendment violated the 50% ceiling set by the 1992 judgment. According to the petitions, the amendment was also illegal because it used economic status as the only factor for determining backwardness.

The petitioners further objected to the reservation for EWS on the grounds that any affirmative action is intended for backward classes and that the statute is also unconstitutional because it excludes people from the SC, ST, and OBC categories.

The central government justified the 10% reservation, stating that it represented a departure from the caste-based reservation. The Centre informed the court in September that the 50% reservation cap is “not sacred.” It went on to say that the economic criteria are entirely valid and have been judicially validated as a crucial factor in determining social and educational backwardness.

The Centre contended that the Constitution’s Preamble provides for the upliftment of EWS, which might be through reservations in educational institutions, postings in public service, and a slew of welfare measures that the State is obligated to provide to the weaker parts of society.

It stated that the EWS quota will have no effect on the seat share of reserved or open category candidates because an additional 200000 seats will be established in central educational institutions with a budget of 4,315 crores. The states of Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and Andhra Pradesh backed the Centre and defended the law. Tamil Nadu was against the EWS quota.

Also Read : Amazfit Band 7 launch in India, check specs and prices

 181 total views,  1 views today