103rd Constitution Amendment Act


103rd Constitution Amendment Act
103rd Constitution Amendment Act
103rd Constitution Amendment Act – 2019 - President Ramnath Kovind has given the assent to the 124th constitutional Amendment Bill (which is now Constitution 103rd amendment Act) providing 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections. The amendment changed two fundamental rights, Article 15 and 16.
Article 15 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination against any citizen on the grounds of race, religion, caste, sex, or place of birth. However, the government may make special provisions for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes, or for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.  The Bill seeks to amend Article 15 to additionally permit the government to provide for the advancement of “economically weaker sections”.  Further, up to 10% of seats may be reserved for such sections for admission in educational institutions.  Such reservation will not apply to minority educational institutions
Article 16 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination in employment in any government office. However, the government can allow reservation for any “backward class of citizens”, if they are not adequately represented in the services under the state.  The Bill seeks to amend Article 16 to permit the government to reserve up to 10% of all posts for the “economically weaker sections” of citizens.
The amendments provide for the advancement of the “economically weaker sections” of the society. The amendment aims to fulfil the commitments of the directive principles of state policy under Article 46, to promote the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the society.
Criteria for Reservation is -
  1. People who have an annual income of less than Rs.8 lakhs, or
  2. People who own less than five acres of farm land, or
  3. People who have a house lesser than 1,000 sq feet in a town (or 100 sq yard in a notified municipal area).

 The 10% reservation will be over and above the 50% stipulated by the Supreme Court and is expected to benefit a huge section of upper castes, including Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas and Bhumihars and trading castes like Kapus and Kammas. 
Constitution Validity of Reservation - This Amendment may run into rough weather if challenged in the Supreme Court. A nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the Indira Sawhney case of 1992 specifically held  that a backward class cannot be determined only and exclusively with reference to economic criterion. The Indira Sawhney judgment declared 50% quota as the maximum limit unless extraordinary situations arises

Gujarat: First State To Implement EWS Reservation - Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that Gujarat has become first state to implement 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections in general category. The announcement comes less than a week after the Indian Parliament passed a constitutional amendment bill.