March 11, 2019
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the Centre’s decision to grant 10 per cent quota to poor candidates in the general category. The apex court said that next hear the petition challenging the 10 per cent reservation in general category on March 28.
When senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan argued that the matter needs to be heard by a Constitution bench since it is the question of basic structure, the Supreme Court said that it will consider if the issue needs to go before the Constitution bench.
“Will hear plea for referring issue of quota to general category poor to Constitution bench on March 28,” the SC bench said. The Supreme Court has also asked all the parties to file a written note.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had agreed to examine the validity of the law and issued the notice to the Centre on the plea filed by businessman and Congress supporter Tehseen Poonawala.
“At this stage, we are not inclined to pass any order,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Poonawala, had then told the bench that his only grievance at this stage was that this quota should not breach the ceiling of 50 per cent as mandated by the apex court.
The Union Cabinet had on January 7 approved the 10 per cent reservation for economically backward people in the general category in jobs and educational institutions, a decision which has been under attack from the Opposition ever since it was introduced.
The move, a step to consolidate upper caste votes, was dubbed as “election gimmick” by the Opposition parties which questioned its legality vis-a-vis the Supreme Court putting a cap of 50 per cent on reservations.