Excessive quota to have negative impact: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that reservation was ideally intended to bring equality of opportunities for the oppressed class but excessive reservations would have a negative impact on the concept of equality. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that reservation was ideally intended to bring equality of opportunities for the oppressed class but excessive reservations would have a negative impact on the concept of equality.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice S A Bobde made the oral observation as the court decided to examine if the clutch of petitions challenging the validity of Centre's decision to grant 10 % reservation in jobs and admissions to candidates from economically weaker sections (EWS) would be referred to a Constitution bench for final adjudication.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the petitioners activist Tehseen Poonawalla, told the court that one of the issues required to be dealt with by the top court was whether the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act violated the basic structure.

Senior advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan, appearing for one of the petitioners 'Youth for Equality', said that the overall 50% ceiling limit of reservation cannot be breached.

He contended that the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act said that 10% quota to EWS would be in addition to the existing reservations, which meant breaching the 50% ceiling.

The hearing remained inconclusive and would continue on Wednesday.

The 10% quota for economically weaker sections in government jobs and higher educational institutions, including in private sector, became the law of the land after President Ram Nath Kovind on January 12 gave his assent to it.

The Centre had maintained in an affidavit in March that the constitutional amendment for 10% quota on economic basis would “do justice across all the weaker sections of the society” and “enable them equal opportunity to get access to educational institutions and also in matters of employment”.

“The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019 is a valid legislation, is not contrary to Indra Sawhney (Mandal Commission 1992) and does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution,” it said.

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