Legal experts and Bahujan leaders argue that the EWS trial reflects the nature of the judiciary. | Media Pyro


On November 7, the Supreme Court upheld the provision of reservation for the economically weaker sections among the upper classes in education and work in a majority decision. UU Lalit, who was the then chief justice, and high court judge Ravindra Bhat opposed the exclusion of Scheduled Communities, Scheduled Tribes and other Backward Class communities from the EWS quota. However, they agreed with the other three judges—JB Pardiwala, Bela Trivedi and Dinesh Maheshwari—on economic grounds that there was a valid point for reservation. Four of the judges were Hindus and Pardiwala was a Parsi.

Many legal experts and leaders of political parties I spoke to said the judgment ignored key parts of the Constitution and legal precedents set by the Supreme Court. The platform also shared information unrelated to the EWS case which further threatened the representation of Bahujan communities in education, employment and electoral offices. This information is called obiter dictum, is not legally binding but may be dictated by the judge’s actions. Pardiwala’s history suggests that he has been a vocal critic of marginalized communities in the past. Four legal experts I spoke to argued that, to them, there was a question mark over the board selection in the EWS case.

The petitioners raised three major arguments against the EWS quota. The first is that reservations based on economic criteria should be considered unconstitutional because the constitution is only acceptable on the basis of social and educational backwardness. Secondly, the EWS quota discriminates against the economically weaker sections of the SC, ST and OBC community by excluding them from the ten percent EWS quota. Third, the EWS quota violates the 50 percent ceiling that has been the guiding principle of the Supreme Court since the Indra Sawhney judgment in 1992.


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