Reservations made for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) that is something that is new, and won’t at all affect the rights of Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) that are already “loaded with benefits by way of affirmative actions”, Attorney General K K Venugopal told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
“This reservation is a brand new development, completely independent of the reservations made that are made for STs, SCs, and OBCs. This reservation doesn’t affect the rights of these groups. This is independent of 50 percent. The issue of it being over the 50% limit and therefore violating the basic structure isn’t a factor,” the AG told the five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice India U U Lalit, which is examining a set of petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Constitution’s 103rd Amendment that was the basis for the EWS reservation was made.
In defending the amendment in front of the bench, which also includes justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi, and JB Pardiwala. Venugopal said it is true that the EWS application discriminates toward SC, ST, and OBC communities, excluding those groups from its application. He said “question of discrimination will arise between two classes that are similarly placed” which they aren’t.
To support his argument, he said it was true that SCs and STs are provided with reservations in promotions, both in local bodies as well as legislative bodies. “Look at the benefits…Article 16(4)(a) shows that SCs and STs are being given a special provision by way of promotions, Article 243D provides reservation in panchayat…Article 330 provides them reservations in the House of people, and Article 332 provides reservation in the Legislative Assembly,” said the official. declared.
He said “if all these benefits are given to them by way of a fact that they’re backward then would they give up on this for the purpose of claiming equality?” and then added “EWS have been granted reservations for the first time. However to the extent that people of the SCs as well as STs are involved, they’ve been provided with benefits through”affirmative action”.
Venugopal declared that his two “are highly unequal…so far as reservations are concerned”.
He stated that, while the classes that were backward had less economic strength but the general category comprised of “grossly poor” who were receiving assistance by means of affirmative action.
The highest law enforcement official said that a substantial portion of the general population will be denied the opportunity in schools and jobs when the quotas are eliminated.
When asked if there was information on EWS in general categories, Venugoppal pointed out this could be 18.2 percent of the population through the census in 2011.
The debates remained inconclusive, and will continue on Wednesday.