EWS Reservation: A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday asked whether the problems of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) can be addressed through affirmative measures like providing scholarships and fee concessions instead of reservation. . Hearing a petition, Chief Justice U U Lalit said that economic backwardness is temporary.
In fact, a petition challenging the 103rd amendment of the Constitution was filed in the Supreme Court. Under this amendment 10% reservation quota was provided to EWS categories. Chief Justice of India U U Lalit, presiding over a five-judge Constitution Bench, while hearing this petition, said that backwardness is something which is not temporary, but has been going on for many generations and centuries, whereas economic backwardness is temporary. .
The CJI was responding to the arguments of advocate Vibha Makhija, appearing for some of the EWS category students, who said economic status is constitutionally permitted as a criterion for providing reservation. Pointing out to the transformative character of the Constitution, Vibha Makhija said that its framers could never have imagined a situation where caste was the sole criterion for providing reservation.
The bench also included Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala. Justice Ravindra Bhat told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who defended the amendment, “There is uncertainty. You call it resilience but it is uncertain.” In response, Tushar Mehta said that even social backwardness has not been defined in the Constitution.
Tushar Mehta said, “The problem can be solved by constituting a commission. It is treatable. The government can bring commission. If some states implement EWS without that practice, that executive action can be challenged. Absence of guidelines is not grounds to challenge the amendment.
Tushar Mehta said that during the progress of the country in the 21st century, economic weakness has also become an indicator of social prestige in itself. The aim of this republic is to bring betterment in all spheres of social, economic and political life of all castes and classes.