Reservation is meant for social upliftment and not financial empowerment, the Supreme Court remarked on Thursday while hearing pleas challenging the quota for Economically Weaker Sections, Bar and Bench reported.
A five-judge Constitution bench is hearing petitions challenging the Centre’s decision to grant a 10% quota to Economically Weaker Sections category in admissions and jobs. The petitioners are against the 103rd amendment to the Constitution, which introduced changes to Articles 15 and 16 that deal with the right to equality and provide the basis for reservations.
At Thursday’s hearing, Senior Advocate Vibha Dutta Makhija, appearing for a group of students from the EWS category, said that the 10% quota is in line with the transformative goals of the Constitution, Live Law reported.
To this, Chief Justice UU Lalit said that the petitioners are not denying that those out of the the ambit of caste-based reservations are poverty-stricken.
“They are saying that their poverty can be alleviated by other means – subsidies, scholarships etc,” he said. “Reservation as a traditional concept is not for financial empowerment, it is for social empowerment, it not just to improvise the economic lot or status.”
The chief justice also observed that unlike caste discrimination, poverty does not necessarily get carried from one generation to the other.
“There is no anthropological…