NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to re-examine its 1992 verdict, which put a cap of 50% on quota, turning down the plea made by numerous states that the ceiling fastened by court docket be scrapped they usually be allowed to grant reservation past it.
A five-judge Constitution bench mentioned that its three decade-old verdict within the Indra Sawhney case has stood the check of time and rejected the plea of states that 50% ceiling wanted to be relaxed on account of modified social dynamics.
The bench, comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, L Nageswara Rao, S Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat, unanimously determined that the cap on reservation was fastened “to achieve principle of equality and with an object to strike a balance which cannot be said to be arbitrary or unreasonable”.
“To change the 50% limit is to have a society which is not founded on equality but based on caste rule. Democracy is an essential feature of our Constitution and part of our basic structure. If the reservation goes above 50% limit which is reasonable, it will be a slippery slope, the political pressure makes it hard to reduce the same. Thus, answer to the question posed is that the percentage of 50% has been arrived at on the principle of reasonability and achieves equality as enshrined by Article 14 of which Articles 15 and 16 are facets,” Justice Bhushan mentioned in his judgment.
The verdict might have implications on reservation to economically weaker sections (EWS), which additionally breaches the 50% rule and the matter is pending earlier than SC.
Almost all of the state governments put up a united entrance earlier than the apex court docket to press for elimination of the cap.
The bench, nonetheless, stood agency, holding that that the 50% cap might be breached solely in extraordinary and distinctive circumstances. “What was held by the Constitution Bench in Indra Sawhney case on the relevance and significance of the precept of stare decisis clearly binds us. The judgment of Indra Sawhney has stood the check of the time and has by no means been doubted by any judgment of this court docket.
The Constitution Bench judgment of this court docket in Indra Sawhney neither must be revisited nor referred to a bigger Bench for consideration,” the bench mentioned whereas rejecting the plea of state governments, together with that of Maharashtra, for referring the difficulty to a 11-judge bench.
“There can be no quarrel that society changes, law changes, people change but that does not mean that something which is good and proven to be beneficial in maintaining equality should also be changed in the name of change alone,” the court docket mentioned because it rejected the plea that the modified dynamics of society warranted that the 50% quota was scrapped.