SC issues notice to Centre on 10% quota, refuses to stay its implementation

A bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, however, said that the apex court "will examine the issue.”

SC issues notice to Centre on 10% quota, refuses to stay its implementation

NEW DELHI: In a major boost for Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday refused to stay implementation of 10% reservation to the economically weaker section of general category. 

A bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, however, said that the apex court "will examine the issue.”

The SC also issued notice to Centre on pleas challenging the constitutional amendment that gives 10% reservation in jobs and education for economically weaker section of the general category. The top court gave four-week time to the Centre to file its response on this matter.

The 124th Constitution Amendment Bill, which provides for 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections in the general category, was approved by the Rajya Sabha with 165 votes in favour and seven against on January 9 while the Lok Sabha had passed it a day earlier with 323 votes in favour and 3 against.

The reservation is meant for individuals belonging to economically-weaker sections whose annual earning is below Rs 8 lakh and who possess less than 5 acres of agriculture land.

It is to be noted that the 10% quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation to SCs, STs and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

While replying to the debate over this Bill in Rajya Sabha, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot had asked Congress how it would have implemented the promise of giving reservation to poor of the general category without amending the Constitution. Gehlot had also said that the 10% quota Bill will not affect the reservation to SC, ST and OBCs and opposition parties should have supported the legislation without raising any questions on it.

While opposition parties raised questions over the government's motive to bring the legislation just four months before the general elections, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had defended the government by using the cricketing analogy, saying 'sixes are hit only in the slog overs' and said more such "sixers" are in the pipeline.