Constitutionality of EWS reservation in India

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The top court a few days back with a majority ratio of 3:2 upheld the one hundred three amendment to Indian constitution initiating a ten percent quota for the backward people on the basis of financial standards of society.

Indian Reservation is a structure of percentage based on supporting plans governed by laws related to the constitution in our country.

Present day percentage structure of quota :

OBC    27%

SC       15%

ST        7.5%

EWS    10%

Overall     59.5%

Article 14 of the Constitution of India reads as under:

“The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India”.

Article 15 in The Constitution of India reads as under:

“Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth”.

Challenges of Economically weaker section quota to one hundred three constitutions Amendment Act

Constitutional Provision: 

Generally the concept of basic structure is that fundamental elements of the Indian Constitution that can’t be taken off or changed yet by an act of amendment of the constitution.

Upliftment of individuals in society: quotas are there to indemnify for injustices that happened earlier and but not for as a purpose to economic upliftment for individuals in the society. Somehow, the quota breached the basic structure of the Indian Constitution by keeping seats completely on the base of economical disadvantage rather than social and educational disadvantages. Economically weaker section quota looks does not include OBC’s, SC’s, ST’s who are from economical backward section 

Rises above the quota percentage

Generally in India the quota level is upto 50% as per the 1992 Apex Court’s verdict in the Indra Sawhney Case. But this inclusion of EWS reservation exceeds the total reservation percentage.

Arguments that EWS Quota as perfect constitutional amendment 

Benefits the weaker section :

Generally the reservation must also be provided to certain citizens who are from economical backwardness but in our country the reservation is based only upon social structure. 

Case of 2015’s Ram Singh v. Union of India:

In the case of Ram Singh v. Union of India ( 2015 ), Top court stressed that the social discrimination be existing in the society wider than caste equation. (e.g.Financial weaker sections / LGBTQ). 

EWS Quota is reformist: 

The upper class castes in India are not having much financial assistance for their admissions in the higher educational institutions. But this quota provides them some sort of assistance so this is of a reformist nature so that it can uplift the students of economic backwardness.

EWS policy is of reservation for economical weaker:

The Policy is a welfare step that it triggers to end poverty and encourage certain sections of society to avoid financial struggle. It points out the larger interests in the society for their better cause to stand strong in the society. This policy is absolute reservation for the poor people.

Arguments that EWS Quota as imperfect constitutional amendment

EWS quota - Economically weaker Section of the society can avail this reservation . This reservation criteria is completely based on the net income of the family.

Equality of opportunity:-

In M.Nagaraj v. Union of India (2006), the apex court stated that equality is an integral part of the basic structure of the constitution.

Financial burden:-

The program is financially exhausting, the states due to lack of financial resources are unable to fund this program or any other major government fulfilment of the program is Major task to authority.


It is a very difficult task for any organisation or authority to determine economic backwardness. There is always a challenge of including all maximum families and boycotting the fraud ones.


Equality is the integral part of the basic structure of the Indian constitution. To achieve this, the system of reservation has been extensively mentioned in the constitution, To uplift the social and educational backwardness among society. A large section of economically backward were neglected. The equality in opportunity in all sectors is a basic right.

Trouble Scrutiny of EWE Quota:

Difficulty in dealing of Data:

The central and all the state governments have no proper data regarding the annual income of all citizens in their respective areas especially of higher class citizens who are having below rupees eight lakh per year because most the upper caste citizens don’t involve much into public offices they do private activities so there is much concern regarding to deal with the proper data. Most of the citizens can apply for it falsely and get the benefit of ews quota.

Unpredictable criteria:

The criteria which the central government proposed is vast without proper findings of criteria of certain amount of financial sources the money come from this is also another concern of data.

The Top court interrogated the union government about the GDP per capita for every single state for noting the financial spendings of state governments to provide this EWS quota in their respective state.

Generally also the per capita income varies from state to state in our country as per their resources if we look the high and low per capita incomes Goa with per capita income of 4 lakhs is the state with high per capita income whereas Bihar with the per capita of 40,000 is the state with lowest per capita income.


By EWS new criteria was introduced in delivering the reservation and quota that is the economic criteria. This is one the reformative policy step that encourages delivering quota for individuals rather like earlier systems are delivering reservation for groups. This is a great shift that individual based policy in quota got started while balancing the group based policy. An assenting judge noted that 75 years post independence, it was time to again go through the system of reservation in the major interest of society. Originally in the constitution the reservation is mentioned for a certain period of time but it can be changed in the timely with existing day situations. 

The vision of Dr Baba saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar was to bring social harmony by starting reservations for 10 years constitution implementation. As per the above mentioned statements, at present there is a necessity to revisit the order of quota in the major interest of the society as full, as an initiation towards constitutionalism through transformation phase and then to go towards removing the causes that have made to the educational, economic backwardness and social backwardness of the weaker individuals and groups of the country.