EWS quota won’t hurt SC/STs, OBCs: Govt | India News

NEW DELHI: Justifying a 10% quota for the economically weak sections of the economy, the Center on Wednesday argued that extending a helping hand to the poor is a constitutional and political obligation. Government has a duty to fulfill the aspirations of those who are not given the opportunity because of their economic status.
Appearing before the constitutional bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit, judges Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala, attorney general KK Venugopal and attorney general Tushar Mehta said the 103rd constitutional amendment is valid and it is implemented under article 46 which states that the state will pay special attention to the educational and economic interests of the disadvantaged sections of the people.
Continuing its submission, Venugopal submitted that SCs/STs/OBCs should not complain about the EWS quota as it will not affect them and their slice of the pie in the reservation will remain intact. . He said 10% of the quota for EWS will be cut out of the remaining 50% that have not been booked. He added that about 5.8 crore are from the upper class below the poverty line and 35% of the total upper class are landless and the EWS quota is for them. He said many poor children from the lower classes are forced to work in the fields and factories and they cannot go to school due to poverty and the government is forced to help them.
The attorney general said the amendment was introduced to meet the aspirations of poor people and it could only be tested on the grounds that it destroyed the basic structure of the Constitution itself. “In other words, if such an amendment was allowed to exist, the foundation of the Constitution would fall,” Mehta said.
He argues that the quantitative limit of 50% reserved is not an inviolable or inflexible limit and says “Even after the 50% limit set forth by the 81st Amendment has been tested in In the case of M. Nagaraj, the bench in the aforementioned case argues that reservations should not be excessive, it is clear that the 50% limit is not inflexible nor is it a fundamental structure”.
Opposing petitioners’ call that the 50% limit on reservations as part of the Constitution’s basic structure cannot be violated, the attorney general said, “Any proposition in a flexible Constitution can never be the basic structure to deprive another Parliament of the authority to take affirmative action by amending the Constitution by considering the poorest of the poor. as a separate class”. The government referenced the findings in the 2010 Sinho Commission report that became the basis for granting an EWS reservation and said that accordingly, OBCs have a higher percentage of land holdings than the general population. 35% of the population has no land and 20% is illiterate.

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