SC seeks response from Centre, CBSE on plea seeking 10% reservation for EWS in teacher eligibility test 2019
The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice seeking responses from the Centre, the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) and the National Council for Teacher Education on a plea seeking 10% reservation for economically weaker sections in the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET), 2019.
A Supreme Court vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna asked the Centre and the CBSE to respond by the next date of hearing on 1 July.
The apex court had dismissed the petition when it first came up for hearing on 13 May, saying the issue of reservation would arise at time of recruitment and not at the time of writing a qualifying examination. However, later in the day, the court recalled its order dismissing the case and listed it for Thursday.
Advocate Pushkar Sharma and Prashant Shukla had filed the petition on behalf of some CTET-2019 aspirants belonging to economically weaker sections. The petitioners submitted that the CBSE published an advertisement on 23 January for conducting the CTET-2019 in which the benefit of 10% reservation was not given to candidates belonging to economically weaker sections of the society.
The bench on May 13 had said the said notification did not give any reservations to candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe either.
Though the apex court on Thursday sought responses from the Centre and CBSE, it refused to stay the CBSE notification saying that the reservation was a policy decision and interference by the court was only necessary in cases of gross violation.
The petitioners have said the notification issued by the CBSE violates rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
The Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed by the Indian Parliament and came into force on 12 January. Under the amended Act, the Centre has provided for a 10% reservation to citizens from general category belonging to economically weaker section of the society, in addition to already existing reservation policy for benefit of other reserved categories such as Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Class and physically handicapped.
The Act amended Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution, by adding a clause which allows states to make “special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens". These “special provisions" would relate to “their admission to educational institutions, including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the state, other than the minority educational institutions".