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10% EWS Reservation: On DMK's Plea, Madras HC Issues Notice To Modi Govt.

ASHISH MEENA | 0
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| January 21 , 2019 , 13:47 IST

The Madras High Court on Monday issued a notice to the Narendra Modi-led government over the 10% reservation for the economically weaker section in general category. The High Court has asked for a reply by February 18.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) organising secretary RS Bharathi had on Friday filed a writ plea in the Madras High Court challenging the recent constitutional amendment for 10 per cent reservation.

The Bill, which was passed by Parliament, has now become a law after it was given a nod by President Ram Nath Kovind. Earlier, the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on January 8 with as many as 323 members voting in support of it and only three voting against the Bill.

A day later, it was passed from the Rajya Sabha with 165 voting in favour and seven against.

"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. Economic criteria has been, however, used as a filter to exclude the creamy layer, persons belong to the backward classes but who are economically advanced," Bharathi said in the petition.

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"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," he added.

The petitioner said, "It is well settled that the ceiling limit of 50 per cent 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 percent due to the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of appointments or posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993 which is placed in the IX Schedule," he further submitted. Legislations placed in the IX Schedule of the Constitution cannot be legally challenged.

Earlier, Youth For Equality and Kaushal Kant Mishra had also challenged the reservation. They had said that 10 per cent Quota Bill violates basic feature of the Constitution as a reservation on economic grounds cannot be limited to the general categories and the 50 per cent ceiling limit cannot be breached. It sought the quashing of the Bill saying that the economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for reservation.