Supreme Court hears arguments for economic justice

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, September 22: The Supreme Court would further hear the arguments against challenge to the 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections, while hearing the plea against the 103rd Constitution Amendment Act.

The EWS quota has been challenged on the ground that it violates the basic structure of the Constitution, while also for the exclusion criteria and the applicability in the educational institutions.

The EWS quota was brought by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to address the demands of the economically weaker sections within the general category of the students and the youth for affirmative actions for their empowerment.

Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta submitted his arguments in the apex court. Mehtra argued that the basic structure of the Constitution is primarily based on the Preamble to the Constitution.

He argued that the EWS quota ensures economic justice in line with the spirit of the Preamble of the Constitution, and the step in no way violates the basic structure of the Constitution.

Mehta argued that the Preamble of the Constitution provides for the social, economic and political justice. Thus, he argued, the amendment (103rd) enhances the basic structure of the Constitution of Preamble is the base.

Mehta further submitted that there is broadly 50 per cent reservations and rest non- reservation. He stated that the EWS quota provides for 10 per cent reservation for general category.

He further claimed that more than half of the candidates in the civil services come from income background which is yearly Rs 2.5 lakh.

Mehta, while citing M. Nagraj v Union of India case, said that the Supreme Court has also in the past suggested the need for economic reservations.

The arguments will further continue in the Supreme Court, while the Centre has to defend the EWS quota from the challenge posed by lawyers from Tamil Nadu where over 77 per cent reservation prevails in the educational institutions and government employments.

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