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SC stays proceedings in Kerala HC on plea challenging EWS quota

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New Delhi, Sep 24, 2021- The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the proceedings before the Kerala High Court on a plea against Centre’s decision granting 10 percent reservation in jobs and admissions to candidates belonging to economically weaker sections (EWS).

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, asked a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana to stay on proceedings before the high court and also sought direction to issue notice to Nujaim P.K., who had filed the plea there.

After hearing brief arguments in the matter, the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, issued notice on the Centre’s plea seeking transfer of the case from the high court to the top court. Earlier, the top court had referred similar case to a five-judge Constitution bench.

The Centre’s plea said the writ petition involves an identical question of law to one pending before the top court, whether the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 violates the basic structure of the Constitution and it is also against its basic principle. The 10 percent quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.

The Centre contended that the transfer of the petition is necessary, as a similar plea and other connected petitions in connection with the validity of the Act, is pending before the top court. The transfer of the petition would enable all these cases to be clubbed and heard together, it said.

The top court had refused to stay the Centre’s decision. Both the Houses of the Parliament cleared the bill in January 2019, and it also received President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent. (Agency)

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