New Delhi, Observing that poverty is not permanent, the Supreme Court said that the economically weaker sections of upper castes can be encouraged through various positive actions. Like giving them government jobs and scholarships in educational institutions instead of 10% quota. The court said that the word reservation has different connotations like social and financial empowerment and is meant for classes who have been oppressed for centuries.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice UU Lalit said that for centuries people stigmatized by caste and occupation have been given reservations and upper caste students can be given facilities like scholarships and free education.
When talking about other reservations it is related to descent. At the same time, backwardness is not a temporary thing, it lasts for centuries and generations. But economic backwardness may be temporary.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, defended the 103rd Constitutional Amendment, saying that 10 per cent quota was provided for the general category EWS without disturbing the 50 per cent reservation available for SCs, STs and OBCs.
A constitutional amendment cannot be rejected without establishing that it violates the basic structure of the Constitution. On the other hand, the party is not denying that those who are struggling or those suffering from poverty among the vulnerable need some support. There is no doubt about it.
“What is being suggested is that you can try to bring that class up by giving enough opportunities at the threshold level, like giving them scholarships at the 102 level,” the bench said. Give them a freeship so they can learn, educate or uplift themselves.
The court said that reservation as a traditional concept has different meanings and is not only about financial empowerment but also about social and political empowerment.HS1MS