New Delhi: The Congress party welcomed the Supreme Court verdict upholding the validity of providing 10% reservation to people belonging to the economically weaker sections on Monday, and said the amendment providing for it was the result of a process initiated by the Manmohan Singh government. The Opposition party also said the Modi government is yet to clarify its position on an updated caste census.
In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court by a majority view of 3:2 upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitution amendment providing 10% reservation to people belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) in admissions and government jobs. In a statement, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said the Congress welcomes the Supreme Court judgment upholding the 103rd Constitutional Amendment that provides for the 10% reservation quota for Economically Weaker Sections belonging to castes other than Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and OBCs.
‘The amendment itself was the result of a process initiated by Dr Manmohan Singh’s government in 2005-06 with the appointment of the Sinho Commission that submitted its report in July 2010. Thereafter, widespread consultations were held and the Bill was ready by 2014. It took the Modi Sarkar five years to get the Bill enacted’, he said. Ramesh said socio-economic and caste census was completed by 2012, when he was the Union rural development minister, and the Modi government is yet to clarify its position on an updated caste census, something the Congress supports and demands.
The apex court ruled that the quota does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice U U Lalit pronounced four separate verdicts on 40 petitions challenging the validity of the 103rd Constitution amendment promulgated by the Centre in 2019. While Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela M Trivedi and J B Pardiwala upheld the law, Justice S Ravindra Bhat along with the Chief Justice of India shot down the same in their minority view.