On Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended the recent law granting 10 percent quota for the economically weaker sections (EWS). The Centre justified to the Supreme Court that the law aims to bring “social equality” by providing “equal opportunities in higher education and employment to those who have been excluded by virtue of their economic status”.
“That the Constitution Amendment (103rd) Act 2019 was necessitated to benefit the economically weaker sections of the society who were not covered within the existing schemes of reservation, which as per statistics, constituted a considerably large segment of the Indian population,” an affidavit filed by the Centre said.
Claiming to justice across all weaker sections of the society, “it was therefore considered imperative that the Constitution be appropriately amended to enable the State to extend various benefits, including reservations in educational institutions and public employment to the EWSs of the society who are not covered by any of the existing schemes of reservation…,” the statement added.
“It is submitted that the conclusions drawn in Indra Sawhney are inapplicable to the present case as the said judgment was delivered while determining the constitutional validity of certain Office Memorandums issued by the Government of India in the year 1990, which provided for reservations for the backward classes of citizens in services under the State,” it said.
An affidavit was filed by the Centre which stated, “That in order to provide reservation to EWS without disturbing the existing reservations for SCs, STs, and OBCs, the constitutional amendment has provided for a maximum of 10-per cent reservation for EWSs in addition to the existing reservations. The limit of 50 percent is only applicable to a reservation made under Article 15(4), 15(5) and 16(4) and does not apply to Article 15(6).”
It was also assured by the NDA government that the EWS quota does not violate the Supreme Court order on 50 percent cap on the reservation for backward classes.
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