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SC refuses to stay 10 pc quota for poor in jobs, admissions

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Friday refused to stay the Centre's decision to grant 10 per cent quota in jobs and admissions to poor candidates in the general category.

The apex court, however, agreed to examine the validity of the law and issued the notice to the Centre on the plea filed by and supporter

"At this stage, we are not inclined to pass any order," said a bench headed by

Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Poonawala, 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 bench, also comprising Justices and Sanjiv Khanna, had earlier issued notice to the Centre on similar petitions and on Friday ordered tagging of the fresh plea of 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 Kaushal Kant Mishra, has sought the quashing of the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019, saying that the economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for reservation.

It said the bill violates basic feature of the Constitution as 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 violated the decisions of the apex court.

Referring to the nine-judge bench decision of the apex court in the landmark 1992 case, the petition said the latest amendment completely violated the Constitutional norm that economic criterion cannot be the only basis of reservation.

It also said that the amendments fail to consider that Articles 14 and 16 form the basic feature of equality, and that they have been violated with the doing away of the restraints that were imposed on the reservation policy, i.e. the 50 per cent ceiling limit and the exclusion of economic status as a sole criterion.

The fresh filed by has sought quashing of the bill, saying that backwardness for the purpose of reservation cannot be defined by "economic status alone".

The top court had earlier refused to stay the Modi government's decision to grant the reservation but agreed to examine the validity of the constitutional amendment which paved the way for this quota.

In poll year, the has come out with the constitutional amendment bill giving quota benefits to the poor among general category candidates.

The quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation to SCs, STs and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha cleared the bill on January 8 and 9 respectively, and has been signed by

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 18:30 IST