Kerala

Questions raised over the fate of economic reservation

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

The Supreme Court order in Maratha reservation case has cast a doubt over the fate of 10% economic reservation introduced by the Kerala government in government jobs and educational institutions.

The apex court, while quashing the Maharashtra law to provide reservation for Marathas, held that there shall be a cap of 50% on reservation as laid down in the 1992 Indra Sawhney case.

The Kerala Law Minister A. K. Balan apprehended that the verdict may leave an impact on the 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) as the total reservation in the State had exceed the 50% cap.

Currently, 50% caste-based reservation is provided to the Other backward Communities and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes together in the State. Additionally, a 10% reservation is provided to EWS from the open merit, without affecting the caste-based reservation, thus taking the total reservation to 60%. The 10% EWS may not be be possible any more in the light of the apex court order, Mr. Balan told The Hindu.

Incidentally, Kerala was the pioneer to introduce economic reservation and provided 10% reservation for the candidates from EWS in the Devaswom Boards of the State. As many as 25 persons were also appointed under the scheme.

The apex court order will not affect those who have already been appointed. However, it may adversely affect the future appointments and only a Constitution amendment can save the situation, he said.

At the same time, the Nair Service Society, an organisation of one of the forward communities of the State, maintained that the court verdict will not affect the economic reservation introduced through a Constitutional amendment. The amendment was never discussed by the apex court in the Maratha case. Moreover, the court had even refused to stay the amendment and the case challenging its validity was pending, pointed out G. Sukumaran Nair, the NSS general secretary.

He felt that the confusion created over the apex court order was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the benefits of economic reservation for the poor among the forward communities of the State.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 12:10:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/questions-raised-over-the-fate-of-economic-reservation/article34491822.ece

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