Day 1 Arguments: 12 March 2019

A 3 Judge Bench of the Supreme Court is hearing several writ petitions that have challenged the constitutionality of the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019, which introduces reservations for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). Specifically, it provides provides for 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for persons falling within the economically backward sections in the unreserved category,

 

In today's hearing, the three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi declined to stay the operation of the Amendment Act.

 

Dr. Rajeev Dhawan appearing for Tehseen Poonawala, one of the petitioners in the batch of petitions challenging the Amendment Act, submitted before the Court that the amendment was unconstitutional as it provided for reservation in execess of the 50% quota that has been laid down by the Court and forms part of the Basic Structure. Dr. Dhawan relied on the decisions in M Nagaraj  & Ors. vs Union of India and the recent decision of the Court in Jarnail Singh v. Lacchmi Narain Gupta to further substabtiate his claim that the 50% cap on reservation was part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution. 

 

The Bench has scheduled the next hearing for 28th March, on which date the Court will also decide whether the case must be referred to a larger Bench.