‘103rd Amendment was a Fraud on Constitution’

For Prelims

About 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act:
  • The 103 Constitutional Amendment Act amended Article 15 and 16 of Indian Constitution to provide 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among those who are not eligible for any other form of reservation.
  • This 10% will be in addition to the existing cap of 50 percent reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and the Other Backward Classes, thus resulting in a total of 60% reservation in the total number of seats.
  • Reservation provided under the 103 Constitutional Amendment Bill does not have any basis on one’s religion or caste.

Who are classified as Economically Weaker Section (EWS)

  • Those with a family income of fewer than 8 lakhs annually or own agricultural land of fewer than 5 acres.
  • Those who are not beneficiaries of any existing reservations.
  • Those owning a house above 1,000 square feet or a plot of 100 yards.
  • Those owning a residential plot less than 200 yards in a non-notified municipality area.
  • The major criticism against the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act is that it violates the upper limits for reservation set by the Supreme Court in the Indira Sawhney Case.

About Indra Sawhney case 1992:

  • Indra Sawhney Case is also known as Mandal Case due to the impact Mandal Commission or Second Backward Class Commission had in the case.
Key directions given by the court:
  • Backward classes under Article 16(4) cannot be identified on the basis of economic criteria alone and need to consider the caste system as well.
  • Article 16(4) is not an exception to clause 1 but an instance of classification as envisaged by clause 1.
  • Backward classes in article 16(4) were different from the socially and educationally backward classes mentioned in Article 15(4).
  • The concept of a creamy layer was laid down and it was directed that those who belong to such a creamy layer be excluded while implementing reservation for backward classes.
  • Article 16(4) does allow the further classification of backward classes into backward and more backward classes.
  • Reservation shall not exceed 50 percent, moreover, reservation in promotions shall not be allowed.
  • Any new disputes regarding criteria were to be raised in the Supreme Court only.

 

   Source The Hindu

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