Supreme Court to look at constitutional validity of 10% quota for EWS

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it'd first examine the constitutional validity of the Centre's decision to grant 10 per cent reservation to EWS in admissions and jobs before hearing appeals against a state supreme court verdict which had put aside an area law granting quota to Muslims.

A five-judge Constitution bench comprising jurist Uday Umesh Lalit and Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and J B Pardiwala said it'd decide the procedural aspects and other details on September 6 and commence the hearing on the pleas from September 13.

The Centre, through the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019, introduced the supply for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation in admissions and public services.

The top court will hear the appeals of the government and other such pleas against the Andhra Pradesh judicature verdict which had put aside the local law granting quota to Muslims.

A five-Judge Bench of the supreme court of Andhra Pradesh, by four different opinions, had declared as unconstitutional and violative of Articles 15(4) and 16(4) (State's power to grant quota to socially and educationally backward classes) of the Constitution, the province Reservation of Seats within the Educational Institutions and of appointments/posts within the Public Services under the State to Muslim Community Act, 2005.

Nineteen petitions, including the appeal of the regime, are filed challenging the court verdict quashing the quota for Muslims in admissions and jobs within the state.

The Constitution bench said since the problems are overlapping, it'd take up the pleas referring to EWS quota first followed by the matters referring to Muslim reservation law.

It asked four lawyers, Shadan Farasat, Nachiketa Joshi, Mahfooz Nazki and Kanu Agarwal, to act as nodal advocates to confirm smooth handling of pleadings including the filing of common compilations of documents within the apex court.