India

Top quotes from the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a 10% quota for EWS

With a majority opinion of three to two, the Supreme Court affirmed the validity of the 103rd amendment to the Constitution, which provides 10% reservation in education and government employment to people belonging to economically weaker sections (EWS).

Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela M Trivedi, and JB Pardiwala ruled in favor of the quota, stating that the law regarding reservation for EWS does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution. The Chief Justice of India, UU Lalit, concurred with Justice S Ravindra Bhat, who dissented.

The following are the top quotes from the judgment:

  • According to Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, the EWS quota does not violate equality or the basic structure of the Constitution. In addition to existing reservations, reservations made in addition to existing reservations do not violate the Constitution.”

  • A fundamental structure cannot be breached by allowing the state to make provisions for education. Because the ceiling limit is not rigid, reservations for EWS do not violate the basic structure.

  • Justice Bela M Trivedi: “The socially and educationally disadvantaged classes constitute separate groups.”. Their status cannot be compared to that of the unreserved class. It cannot be argued that benefits under EWS are discriminatory.”

  • Justice S Ravindra Bhat states that “reservations are incompatible with equality of opportunity.”. According to the 103rd amendment, discrimination is prohibited in all its forms.

  • Judge S Ravindra Bhat: “Reservations were created as powerful tools for ensuring equal access. The introduction of economic criteria and the exclusion of SC, ST, and OBC in the claim that they had these pre-existing benefits is unfair.”

  • In his opinion, Justice S Ravindra Bhat has stated that the amendment practices forms of discrimination prohibited by the Constitution, such as excluding the poor from the SC, ST, and OBC from economically backward classes.

  • According to Justice Pardiwala, reservations are not an end in themselves but rather a means to an end. The interest should not become vested.”

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