A plea challenging the Bill seeking to provide 10% reservation to general category poor in jobs and education was 10 January 2019 filed in the Supreme Court. The petition, filed by Youth For Equality organisation and Kaushal Kant Mishra, sought the quashing of the Bill saying that the economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for reservation.
  1. The plea said the Bill violates basic feature of the Constitution as reservation on economic grounds cannot be limited to the general categories and the 50% ceiling limit cannot be breached.
  2. The Rajya Sabha passed the Bill with 165 voting in its favour and 7 against, a day after the Lok Sabha had approved The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019.
  3. The quota will be over and above the existing 50% reservation to SCs, STs and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
What is the 50% rule?  
  1. In Indra Sawhney vs Union of India, 1992, the Supreme Court capped caste-based reservation at 50%, ruling that “no provision of reservation or preference can be so vigorously pursued as to destroy the very concept of equality”.
  2. Since this Court has consistently held that the reservation under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) should not exceed 50% and the States and the Union have by and large accepted this as correct it should be held as constitutional prohibition and any reservation beyond 50% would liable to be struck down.

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