NEW DELHI : New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay implementation of legislation granting 10% reservation in jobs and education for economically weaker sections from the general category.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said he was not inclined to pass an interim order and tagged political activist Tehseen Poonawalla’s petition challenging the law with other pending petitions on the issue.

Poonawalla’s challenge was based on the claim that the constitutional amendment violates the 1992 ruling of the Supreme Court, where a constitution bench had said economic criteria cannot be the sole basis for reservation under the Constitution.

Another petition challenging the 10% reservation in general category has been filed by Youth for Equality, an organization opposing caste-based reservations. Its president, Kaushal Kant Mishra, claimed that the amendment violates several basic features of the Constitution of India. The amendment, which introduced Articles 15(6) and 16(6) into the Constitution, violates the equality code of the Constitution and is in “breach of the basic structure of the Constitution", Mishra said.

Mishra’s plea raised questions on the use of the expression “economically weaker sections" as this remains undefined under the amendment. This is left to be notified by the states, which is “arbitrary and unworkable", said the petitioner.

On 10 January, the Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019, with the opposition divided over its stance. It became law after receiving the presidential nod on 12 January.

Close