The Supreme Court Constitution Bench hearing the challenge to reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) will examine whether the 103rd amendment, by which it was introduced, violates the basic structure of the Constitution.
On Thursday, a five-judge bench, presided by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit, decided to examine the first three of the four issues suggested by Attorney General K K Venugopal on the matter which underlined this.
These are 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? Whether it can be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution by permitting the State to make special provisions in relation to admission to private unaided institutions? and whether it can be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution in excluding the SEBCs (Socially and Educationally Backward Classes)/OBCs (Other Backward Classes)/SCs (Scheduled Castes)/STs (Scheduled Tribes) from the scope of EWS reservation?
The bench, also comprising justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala, which perused the four issues by the AG, said it is of the opinion that the first three issues are the pertinent ones.
“Having considered the matter, in our view, (the) first three issues suggested by the Attorney General are the issues which arise in the matter. Whatever has been suggested through other issues by the learned counsel are in the nature of submissions advancing one of the propositions emerging from the issues suggested by the Attorney General. We, therefore, shall be proceeding further with the hearing apropos the first three issues suggested by the Attorney General”, the court said in its order.
The bench had already fixed September 13 to commence hearing arguments of the different sides in the matter.