Too much quota may impact right to equal opportunity, remarks Supreme Court

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  1. The Supreme Court has observed that excessive quota may impact the right to equal opportunity guaranteed under the Constitution.
  2. This observation was made while hearing several petitions which have asked for a Constitution Bench to examine the validity of 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act.
  3. The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act provides for 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the economically weaker sections in the unreserved category
  4. The Act amends Article 15 and 16 to provide for reservation based on economic backwardness.
  5. The petitioners argued that the economic reservation violated the 50% reservation ceiling limit fixed by a nine-judge Bench in the Indra Sawhney case.Further,the 1992 judgment had barred reservation solely on economic criterion.
  6. The act has also been criticised on the grounds that it violates the basic Structure of the constitution as it is violative of the equality principle enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution as it excludes OBCs, SCs and STs from the scope of economic reservation.
  7. Further,it has also challenged the law on the ground that it provides for reservation in private unaided educational institutions which has been clearly barred by the SC in previous judgements.
  8. However,the government has justified to the apex court that the 10% economic quota law was a move towards a classless and casteless society.It said the law was meant to benefit a large section of the population who are mostly lower middle class and below the poverty line.
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