NEW DELHI: The petitioners on Tuesday submitted before the Supreme Court that providing reservation on the basis of economic criteria, excluding SC, ST and OBC Non-Creamy Layer, breaches the equality code.
The constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice JB Pardiwala, on Tuesday began hearing the pleas.
G. Mohan Gopal, former director of the National Judicial Academy, has argued that the 103rd amendment violates the basic structure norm of democratic government and structure for securing social order.
He said that the 103rd amendment was an assault on the constitution as it nullified and neutralize the constitution's idea of treating unequals unequally.
Gopal also said that the equality code of the Constitution will be destroyed if forward classes are given reservation as economic weakness results from social and educational backwardness.
Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for one of the petitioners said the impugned 103rd Amendment to the Constitution of India inserting Clause 6 in Article 15 and Clause 6 in Article 16 providing reservation on the basis of economic criteria (excluding SC, ST and OBC - Non-Creamy Layer) breaches the equality code which is the essence of democracy, thereby violating the basic features of the Constitution.
He submitted that economic criteria alone cannot fall within the parameters of "reservation" or "special provision" as conceived under the Constitution and economic criteria alone violates the equality code and thereby the democratic principles.
Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora also said that the EWS amendment violates the basic structure doctrine and the equality code.
The Supreme Court was dealing with issues relating to the Constitutional validity of reservations on the basis of economic conditions.
The court is dealing with three issues suggested by the Attorney General including one whether the 103rd Constitution Amendment can be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution by permitting the State to make special provisions, including reservation, based on economic criteria.
The constitutional validity of the 103rd Amendment Act, 2019 enabled the State to make reservations in higher education and matters of public employment on the basis of economic criteria alone.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice UU Lalit had said earlier that the Janhit Abhiyan case will be the lead matter now.
Janhit Abhiyan's matter is relating to the challenging of the constitutional validity of the 103rd Amendment Act, 2019 which enabled the State to make reservations in higher education and matters of public employment on the basis of economic criteria alone.
Moreover, the Janhit matter will be heard together with a case filed by the Andhra Pradesh government against the High Court's decision of quashing its decision of granting reservations in education and public service for the entire Muslim population of the State in 2005....