DMK Files Plea Against 10% Quota For General Category In Madras High Court

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| January 18 , 2019 , 12:14 IST

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK) challenged the 10% general reservation quota based on economic background brought in by the central government in Madras High Court on Friday.

The plea filed in the high court is likely to be taken up for hearing on Monday.

DMK said in a statement " Reservations are not poverty alleviation programmes but are more in the nature of social justice to uplift communities which have not had access to education or employment for centuries."

Reacting over the petition DMK organising secretary R S Bharathi said, "Therefore, essentially, the exception to the equality clause is only available to those communities which were ostracised for centuries in matters of education and employment."

"However, economic criteria have been used as a filter to exclude the creamy layer, persons belong to the backward classes but who are economically advanced. Hence, application of economic criteria solely is not contemplated as an exception to the rule of equality, and consequently to provide reservation solely on economic criteria offends the basic structure of the Constitution," Bharathi added.

Senior counsel P Wilson said, "It’s well settled that the ceiling limit of 50% in the reservation is also part of the basic structure and has been asserted by the Supreme Court in several cases."

"However, in Tamil Nadu, the ceiling limit is 69% due to the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 1993 which is placed in the IX Schedule. Hence, the reservation cannot be beyond 69% in the state. However, the recent amendments enable reservation to go up to 79% and the same is unconstitutional," Wilson added.

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The petitioner wanted the court to pass an interim injunction against the operation of the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 pending disposal of the plea.