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SC to not pass order on 10 per cent quota at this stage

SC 1


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said it is not in favor of passing order at this stage to refer the issue of 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections across all classes to a Constitution bench.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said it will hear the plea on March 28 and will consider whether the matter is required to be referred to a Constitution bench.

 

The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, asked senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who was appearing for the petitioner, to file a short note of the points which they have raised in their application.

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 plea filed by businessman and Congress supporter Tehseen Poonawalla.

Dhavan, appearing for Poonawalla, had told the bench that his only grievance at this stage was that this quota should not breach the ceiling of 50 per cent as mandated by the apex court.

The top court had earlier issued a notice to the Centre on similar petitions and ordered tagging of the fresh plea of Poonawalla with pending ones.

Petitions have been filed by parties, including ‘Janhit Abhiyan’ and NGO ‘Youth For Equality’, challenging the Centre’s decision.

The petition, filed by Youth For Equality through its president Kaushal Kant Mishra, has sought the quashing of the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019, saying economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for reservation.

It said the bill violates the basic feature of the Constitution as a reservation on economic grounds cannot be limited to the general category and the overall 50 per cent ceiling limit cannot be breached.

In the present form, the upper limit of quota goes up to 60 per cent which violates the decisions of the apex court, the plea claimed.