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SC to hear on May 2 pleas against Centre's 10 pc reservation to economically weaker sections

PTI     April 8, 2019

New Delhi, Apr 8 (PTI) The Supreme Court Monday said it will hear on May 2 the pleas challenging the Centre's decision to grant 10 per cent reservation in jobs and admission for candidates of economically weaker sections across all classes. A bench of Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer was told that the Railways has already advertised for jobs based on the government's decision to grant 10 per cent reservation. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the petitioners, said it would be difficult to reverse the appointments at a later stage if they are made as per 10 per cent reservation. Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that Constitutional amendment cannot be stayed like this and the apex court had already refused to stay it twice. "We understand the magnitude," the bench observed. The bench was also told about the issue which deals with whether the matter needed to be referred to a Constitution bench. When Dhavan raised the issue of advertisement for jobs as per 10 per cent reservation, the bench observed, "We can say that appointments made will be subject to the outcome of this matter". The apex court had earlier refused to stay the Centre's decision to grant 10 per cent quota in jobs and admissions to poor candidates in the general category. However, the court had agreed to examine the validity of the law and issued a notice to the Centre on the pleas. One of the petitioners has sought quashing of the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019, saying economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for reservation. The petitioner has said the bill violates the basic feature of the Constitution as reservation on economic grounds cannot be limited to the general category and the overall 50 per cent ceiling limit cannot be breached. The Centre has come out with the constitutional amendment bill giving quota benefits to the poor among general category candidates. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha cleared the bill on January 8 and 9 respectively, and it has been signed by President Ram Nath Kovind. The quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. PTI ABA SA


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