RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on the 10 per cent EWS quota in admissions and jobs and said that Congress is in favour of the reservation for the weaker sections in the general category.
In a majority judgment by 3:2, a five-judge Constitution bench on Monday upheld the validity of the Constitution's 103rd Amendment Act 2019, saying the EWS quota does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
Baghel while welcoming the decision by the top court said that the backward classes should get reservations according to the Mandal commission. "We welcome it. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes should get reservations on the basis of their population. The backward classes should get reservations according to the Mandal commission. We are in favour of the 10 per cent EWS reservation given by the SC," he said.
Earlier on Monday, Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat dissented from the majority verdict and struck down the 103rd Amendment Act. "I have concurred with the view taken by Justice Bhat. The decision stands at 3:2," said CJI Lalit while pronouncing his verdict in the last.
Majority bench - Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela Trivedi and JB Pardiwala upheld the EWS Amendment saying EWS quota does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
Justice Maheshwari, while reading out the judgement said, "The EWS amendment does not violate the equality code or the essential features of the Constitution." He said reservation is an instrument of affirmative action so as to ensure an all-inclusive march towards the goals of an egalitarian society.
Justice Bela M Trivedi said her judgment is in concurrence with Justice Maheshwari and that the EWS quota in the general category is valid and constitutional. She said, "The amendment as a separate class is a reasonable classification. Legislature understands the needs of people and it is aware of the economic exclusion of people from the reservation."
Justice JB Pardiwala in his separate but concurring judgement with Justices Maheshwari and Trivedi upheld the Act and said that reservation should not continue for an indefinite time. He said. "The ones who have moved ahead should be removed from backward classes so that ones in need can be helped. The ways to determine backward classes need a re-look so that ways are relevant in today's time. Reservation should not continue for an indefinite time so that it becomes a vested interest."
Justice Bhat in his dissent verdict struck down the 103rd Amendment saying that while reservation on an economic basis is permissible, excluding SC/STs and Other Backward Classes from EWS cannot be permitted and amounts to discrimination against them.
The Constitution bench verdict came on a batch of petitions, filed by NGOs Janhit Abhiyan and Youth for Equality, among others, challenging the Amendment on the ground that economic classification cannot be the sole basis for reservation. The petitions were filed in the top court in 2019, challenging the validity of the Constitution's 103rd Amendment Act 2019.