Published: 05th December 2022
After MP Cong, Tamil Nadu's DMK now seeks review of the SC verdict on EWS reservation
"It is respectfully stated that this is an error apparent on the face of the record," a part of the DMK's review petition reads
A review of the Supreme Court's November 7 landmark verdict upholding the reservation for the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) quota was sought by Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK on Monday, December 5. The party has contended that this verdict "legitimises discrimination".
According to the judgement, delivered by a five-judge Constitutional bench, the 103rd amendment to the Constitution was preserved, providing a 10 per cent reservation to the EWS category in admissions to educational institutions and in government jobs. However, the EWS quota excludes the poor from the ST (Scheduled Caste), ST (Scheduled Tribe) and OBC (Other Backward Classes) categories.
The DMK said that all five judges of the bench have answered that the 103rd Constitution Amendment cannot be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution. And therefore, it overruled a 1992 judgement, which authoritatively pronounced that reservation could not be granted on the basis of economic criteria, as per a report by PTI.
"It is respectfully stated that this is an error apparent on the face of the record since it directly overrules the judgement passed by the nine-judge Constitution Bench in Indra Sawhney versus Union of India 1992, which has authoritatively pronounced that reservations cannot be on the basis of the economic criteria and such interpretation was on the basis of Articles 14,15(1) and 16(1), not articles 15(4) and 16(4) alone," DNK's review plea reads. The party has also alleged that the verdict is contradictory in itself.
"The majority opinion is contradictory - after going in-depth into how poverty prevents access to education and employment, and the importance of alleviating the same, the majority judges have not given any justification for excluding ST, SC & OBCs from the EWS reservation other than to say that they have already been given reservations under Art 15(4) and 16(4)," the plea reads further. It states that if the verdict is allowed to stand, STs, SCs and OBCs "suffer from disqualification from getting economic reservation".
Citing such reasons, the DMK has argued for the verdict to be reviewed and rewritten by a larger bench. It may be noted that on November 23, Congress leader Jaya Thakur from Madhya Pradesh had also sought a review of this verdict, stating that there was "error apparent" in the judgement, as per PTI.