The constitution 103rd amendment bill was passed by both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in January 2019 and has also received assent from President Ram Nath Kovind. The amendment seeks for reservation of 10% for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in jobs and admission to educationally institutions. The quota for Economically Weaker Sections shall be over and above the 50 % reservations for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.
Many petitions were filed before the Supreme Court on the ground that amending the constitution to add article 15(6) and 16(6) is a violation of the basic structure of the constitution. It tends to exceed the 50% reservation ceiling limit causing a breach. The cap was established by the Supreme Court in the Indra Swahney Case (1992). Further, it was also argued that since economic status and conditions are fluctuating factors, it should not be made the sole basis of reservations and also because the sole purpose of affirmative action is to eradicate backwards caused by social and community status.
However, The centre has defended the amendment by stating in its affidavit that the amendment is in conformity with affirmative action and is also not violative of the basic structure of the Constitution. The centre has also clearly pointed out that the 50% cap shall not be applicable after the constitutional amendment.
Since, several Departments have already made job advertisements with EWS quota, the Supreme Court is to begin here the challenge to the amendment early, from the July 16.