Petitioners challenging Gujarat government’s ordinance granting 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections (EWS) for unreserved category today told the High Court that such income-based quota is against the spirit of Constitution as it would divide the society.
In their reply submitted before a division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi, the petitioners refused to accept the government’s claim that ten per cent EWS quota is just a classification and not a reservation.
In the reply, the petitioners said that the ordinance would lead to classification among socially and educationally advanced classes.
“The classification has divided the socially and educationally advanced classes into two classes on the basis of income criterion, which is against the spirit of the Constitution,” it said.
It further said that the government has not applied its mind in devising the ordinance and making it applicable in technical faculty, such as engineering, as a large number of seats remain vacant every year in Gujarat.
“The question of providing reservation does not arise if there are lesser number of candidates than the seats available. The reservation is needed when there are competing claims and lesser number of seats available,” it said.
It is further submitted that “granting benefit of reservation on the basis of income, merit is sacrificed at the cost of public interest. It overlooks the interest and rights conferred by the Constitution under Articles 14,15 and 16” stated the reply.
Challenging the government’s claim that 10 per cent EWS quota is just a classification and not reservation, the petitioners said that “it is erroneous to suggest that there is no reservation…It is a reservation for them as indicated in the ordinance”.
( Source – PTI )