The Supreme Court Friday decided to examine the Centre's decision to grant 10 percent reservation in jobs and education to poor candidates belonging to general category.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the central government on various petitions challenging the validity of the 103 Constitutional Amendment Act which paved the way for grant of quota to poor belonging to general category class.
"We are examining the matter and hence issuing notice returnable within four weeks," the bench said.
However, the bench did not stay the operation of the Centre's decision granting quota to the poor in the general category.
Earlier, a petition filed by the organization Youth for Equality sought the quashing of the bill, stating that it violated the "equality code of the Constitution" as reservation on economic grounds cannot be restricted to general category and the 50 per cent ceiling limit cannot be breached. The plea further sought a stay on the constitutional amendment.
"The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 which has been swiftly passed by both houses of Parliament and passed with little debate in the first week of January 2019 is the subject matter of the present challenge on the ground that it violates several basic features of the Constitution," the plea said.
By way of the present amendments, the exclusion of the OBCs and the SCs/STs from the scope of the economic reservation essentially implies that only those who are poor from the general categories would avail the benefits of the quotas, the organisation contended.
"Taken together with the fact that the high creamy layer limit of Rs. 8 lakh per annum ensures that the elite in the OBCs and SCs/STs capture the reservation benefits repeatedly, the poor sections of these categories remain completely deprived. This is an overwhelming violation of the basic feature of equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution and elsewhere," the petition stated.
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha cleared the Bill on January 8 and 9 respectively and it has also been signed by President Ram Nath Kovind.
(With agency inputs)