NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of a Gujarat government plea that challenged a Gujarat High Court order on quashing of its ordinance of providing 10 per cent quota for the economically backward among the unreserved category, including the agitating Patel community.
A three-judge bench comprising of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, which had listed the matter for hearing on August 22 instructed parties to the plea that there would be no new admissions under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category or quota in Gujarat till the Supreme Court ruled on the matter at its next hearing fixed for August 29.
Earlier, the Gujarat high court had quashed the ordinance, and had stayed the operation of its order by a fortnight on the request of the state government to enable it to file an appeal in the apex court. The high court had termed the Gujarat government ordinance issued on May 1 as “inappropriate and unconstitutional”, and rejected the state government’s argument that it is a classification under the general category and not the reserved category. The court had then maintained that such classification had the dangerous potential of breaching the 50 per cent quota cap set up by the Supreme Court.
The court said in May this year that the 10 per cent reservation for poor among the unreserved category would take the total quota beyond 50 per cent, which the apex court had not permitted. The high court also pulled up the then state government for taking a decision without conducting any study or scientific data.
The Supreme Court was hearing challenges to the Gujarat government ordinance from petitioners Dayaram Verma, Ravjibhai Manani, Dulari Basarge and the Gujarat Parents’ Association. The ordinance had declared reservation of 10 per cent seats to candidates belonging to the unreserved category with family income cap of Rs.6 lakh annually in government jobs and educational institutions. The state government claimed the fresh classification did not violate either the Supreme Court order or the constitutional provisions.