General category poor large segment, not covered under any existing quota scheme: Centre to SC

Updated: Sep 22 2022 10:48PM

New Delhi, Sep 22 (PTI) The Centre on Thursday vehemently defended in the Supreme Court the 103rd constitutional amendment, which provides a 10-per cent quota in jobs and education to those in the economically weaker section (EWS) category, saying this was "necessitated" to benefit the general category poor, a "large segment" of population not covered under any existing reservation scheme.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit took note of the submissions made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who said the 10-per cent quota for the EWS category has been provided without disturbing the 50-per cent reservation available to the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

The parliamentary wisdom, leading to a constitutional amendment, cannot be set aside without establishing that it violates the basic structure of the Constitution, Mehta told the bench that also comprised justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and J B Pardiwala.