March 24, 2023

SC nod to urgent hearing in EWS quota criteria case | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday acceded to Centre’s request for urgent hearing on petitions challenging the validity of criteria for 10% Economically Weaker Section quota, judicial proceedings over which has held up admissions to PG medical seats leading to agitation by students.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta infomed a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud that the committee headed by ex-finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, which was tasked to revisit the criteria for candidate’s inclusion in EWS category, has already submitted its recommendations and that the Centre has filed the report before the court.
Justice Chandrachud said the matter would be required to be heard by a bench also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Vikram Nath, the latter two sitting in different compositions during first week of New Year, when the court is scheduled to hear fresh cases. Justice Chandrachud told Mehta that he would consult CJI and that there would be an endeavour to get EWS quota case listed for hearing this week.
The Centre on Sunday filed an affidavit in SC saying it would stick to the Rs 8 lakh annual income limit criteria for categorisation of EWS sections, entitled to 10% reservation in admissions to educational institutions, including medical colleges, and government jobs, but promised to tweak other EWS criteria a bit from next year.
The government said it has accepted the Pandey Committee report, which recommended continuance of Rs 8 lakh income limit with riders, after a detailed analysis of the criteria and differentiated it from the income criteria adopted to disentitle creamy layer among OBCs for quotas.
The committee said the “EWS may, however exclude, irrespective of income, a person whose family has 5 acres of agricultural land and above (as was included in the 2019 criteria which was challenged in the SC).” The change from the 2019 EWS norms would be exclusion of residential assets criteria.

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