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Supreme Court refuses to stay 10% quota for upper castes, but says will examine its validity

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 25 January 2019, 11:49 AM
The Supreme Court has demanded an answer from the Centre within three weeks. As many as six petitions were filed against the upper caste quota law. (File photo)
The Supreme Court has demanded an answer from the Centre within three weeks. As many as six petitions were filed against the upper caste quota law. (File photo)

The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre over the 10 per cent quota for the economically weak in General Category on Friday. The top court said that it will examine the law. The matter was heard by a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna. However, it refused to put a hold overt the upper caste quota. The top court was hearing a batch of petitions, which claimed that the 10% upper caste quota is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has demanded an answer from the Centre within three weeks. As many as six petitions were filed against the upper caste quota law.

Earlier on Monday, the Madras High Court had issued a notice to the Narendra Modi government over the 10% reservation for the economically weaker section in general category. The High Court gave a month to the Centre and asked for a reply by February 18. The High Court was hearing a plea filed by the DMK challenging the Forward Quota Bill. On Friday, DMK organising secretary RS Bharathi had filed a writ plea in the Madras High Court challenging the Modi government’s decision.

The DMK on Friday had moved the Madras High Court challenging the recently passed Forward Quota Bill, saying that it is against ‘social justice’. The Bill, which was passed by Parliament, has now become a law after it was given a nod by President Ram Nath Kovind. Earlier, the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on January 8 with as many as 323 members voting in support of it and only three voting against the Bill. A day later, it was passed from the Rajya Sabha with 165 voting in favour and seven against.

Earlier, Youth For Equality and Kaushal Kant Mishra had also challenged the reservation. They had said that 10 per cent Quota Bill violates basic feature of the Constitution as a reservation on economic grounds cannot be limited to the general categories and the 50 per cent ceiling limit cannot be breached. It sought the quashing of the Bill saying that the economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for reservation.

The government had extended the session for a day to take up the Constitutional (124th) Amendment Bill. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had termed the passage of The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 in both Houses of Parliament a victory for social justice. He said the Bill will ensure a wider canvas for our youths to showcase their prowess and contribute towards India’s transformation.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week said that the Constitutional amendment to provide 10 per cent reservation to economically poor in the general category was achieved due to the political will of his government and would be implemented from this academic year. Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the 1500-bed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Medical Science and Research, Modi said the economic reservation has been given without impacting the existing social reservations.

"The new reservation will be implemented in 40,000 colleges across 900 universities in the country from this academic year. The number of seats will be increased by 10 per cent," he said.

Modi said his government was committed to provide equal opportunities to all sections of the society. The Institute will be linked to the Ayushman Bharat scheme so that poor people can avail medical facilities free of cost, he said.

First Published: Friday, January 25, 2019 11:09 AM
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