Why Stop at Quota, Asks SC Judge

  • Justice Ravindra Bhat, one of the judges on the Constitution Bench hearing the question of 50% ceiling limit on reservation, asked why welfare should be dependent on caste quota benefits alone.
  • “Why stop at reservation? Why can’t other things also be done? Why not promote education, establish more institutes?
  • Somewhere this matrix has to move beyond reservation. Affirmative action is not just reservation. There has to be something more.
  • The court was hearing submissions by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Jharkhand, on the circumstances which led to the 50% limit in the Indira Sawhney judgment of 1992.


Balancing Act’:

  • Sibal said the 1992 judgment was “a balancing act” done during a tumultuous time in the nation.
  • On March 8, the Bench had framed several questions of law, including whether the Indira Sawhney verdict needed to be re-looked by a larger Bench of more than nine judges.

Sebc act examined:

  • The court is primarily examining whether the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act of 2018, which provides 12% to 13% quota benefits for the Maratha community, and thus, taking the reservation percentage in the State across the 50% mark, was enacted under “extraordinary circumstances”.
  • Over the years, several States like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have crossed the Rubicon and passed laws which allow reservation to over 60%.



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