The Principal Opposition Party in Tamil Nadu, the DMK, on Friday moved the Madras High Court challenging the Centre's recent Constitutional Amendment enabling 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker sections of the society. The Constitution (One hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019, got Presidential assent on January 12 this year.
The DMK bases its premise of objection to the move by the Centre on the assertion that reservation was thought as a method for advancement of communities and not mere economic criteria should not pass muster. In his petition, organisational secretary RS Bharathi, said: "It is clear that the concept of reservation itself is not with reference to the economic status of a person but rather with reference to the community to which he belongs, with an idea to integrate that community into the mainstream system of education and employment.” Among other grounds, the DMK said reservation quota in Tamil Nadu was already higher at 69%, compared to the 50% slab for other states, and that the addition would take it to 79%, thereby rendering it “unconstitional.”
The petition also faulted the Union Government for “arbitrarily” defining economically weaker sections in the society: “It can be seen from reports that the 1 stRespondent [Union of India] is attempting to define economically weaker sections as those families with income of less than Rs.8 lakhs per annum. Such a definition would encompass about 97% of the total population of the country, and therefore, is arbitrary. No study has been carried out by the 1 st Respondent to identify economically weaker sections in general category and there is no scientific data or analysis as to whether this reservation would indeed benefit the economically weaker sections category.” The petition was moved before the Madras High Court on Friday. The case is expected to be taken up for hearing next week.