7 Nov 2022

EWS quota is not discriminatory, says majority judgement of Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld 10% reservation for economically weaker general category people. The general category people will get the benefit of this decision in education and government jobs. \

Three of the five judges did not consider the government's decision on the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation as a violation of the constitutional framework. That is, now this reservation will continue.

The government argued that the quota would help bring people out of poverty and would not cut into existing reservation for backward classes or reduce seats for the general category.

NDA govt made 103rd amendment to the Constitution to give 10% quota 

In fact, before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the NDA government made the 103rd amendment to the Constitution to give 10% reservation to the general category people on economic grounds. By law, the reservation limit should not exceed 50%. At present, the reservation given to SC, ST and OBC category across the country is only within the 50% limit.

More than 40 petitions were filed in the Supreme Court against this decision of the Central Government. The Supreme Court had reserved its decision on this on 27 September. 

Petitions had questioned how the quota could cross the 50 per cent national cap on reservation set by the Supreme Court in 1992 and whether it changed the "basic structure" of the constitution. Most opposition parties, including the Congress, did not oppose the law.

What has the Supreme Court ruled today?

The EWS quota is not discriminatory and does not alter the basic structure of the constitution, according to the majority judgement of the Supreme Court bench. Two judges dissented, including Chief Justice UU Lalit, who retires tomorrow.

A five-member Constitution Bench comprising CJI UU Lalit, Justice Bela Trivedi, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Justice Pardiwala and Justice Ravindra Bhat pronounced the verdict. Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Ravindra Bhatt stood against the EWS, while Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Justice Bela Trivedi and Justice JB Pardiwala ruled in favor. 

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