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SC refers upper caste reservation amendment issue to 5-judge constitution bench

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New Delhi: A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court will hear the challenges and arguments against the Centre’s decision to introduce a 10 percent quota economically disadvantaged upper castes, through the Constitution (103rd) Amendment Act, which introduced 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai, passed the reference order today. This came while the court was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019.

Chief Justice SA Bobde
Chief Justice SA Bobde

In the petitions filed by NGOs Janhit Abhiyan, Youth for Equality and others, argument has been presented that economic classification cannot be the sole basis for reservation.

The Centre’s point of view on this has been that the intention behind the amendment was to bring about “social equality”.

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The petitioners have challenged this on a technicality, saying the decision violated the basic structure of the Constitution while breaching the overall 50 per cent ceiling for reservation as mandated under the Indra Sawhney case.

– India Legal Bureau

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