National

Poverty as a criterion for reservation not against the Constitution: Arun Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the BJP national convention meeting in New Delhi on January 11, 2019.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the BJP national convention meeting in New Delhi on January 11, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AP

Poverty as a criterion for reservation does not in any way contravene the basic structure of the Constitution, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley wrote in a blog on Friday.

“The Constitutional Amendment Bill to provide reservation to the economically weaker sections has been passed by both Houses of Parliament,” Mr Jaitley wrote. “It will soon become a part of India’s Constitution. Caste in India was considered as a key determinant of either social or historical oppression as in the case of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes or a determinant of social and educational backwardness as in the case of the Other Backward Classes.”

“Poverty, however, is a secular criteria,” Mr Jaitley added. “It cuts across communities and religions. Poverty as a criteria for a carve out does not in any way contravene the basic structure of the Constitution.”

The Finance Minister argued that the preamble of the Constitution expressed the intent of its framers when it mentioned equality of opportunity and justice for all whether political, social or economic was to be ensured by the State.

“Nor does the carve out amongst the general non-reserved categories for 10% of their poor in any way get restricted by the 50% reservation embargo placed by the Supreme Court,” Mr Jaitley said. “In the Indra Sawhney case, the Supreme Court had categorically mentioned that 50% criteria applies only to the caste based reservations envisaged in Article 16(4) of the Constitution.”

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 10:56:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/poverty-as-a-criterion-for-reservation-not-against-the-constitution-arun-jaitley/article25972182.ece

Next Story