The Karnataka High Court yesterday issued a notice on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking implementation of the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) Reservation in the State in the larger interest of students and aspirants to secure government jobs.

The said PIL has been filed by Girish Bharadwaj, through Advocate Suyog Herele who has sought for such an implementation of EWS Quota.

A Bench of Chief Justice P.S.Dinesh Kumar and Justice T G Shivashankare Gowda issued notice in the PIL yesterday.

As per the petition, even after four years of 103rd Amendment to the Constitution and after more than one year to the Judgment of the Apex Court upholding the constitutional validity of the 2019 amendment, no steps and measures have been taken to implement the 103rd constitutional amendment for the benefit of meritorious candidates from economically weaker section, who would get an opportunity to secure government jobs and seats in reputed educational institutions.

The petitioner who is also an Advocate has submitted in the petition, “The Central Government on 12-01-2019 notified in the Gazette of India, the 103rd Amendment to the Constitution which sought to provide maximum of 10% reservation to the individuals belonging to the economically weaker section of the society by inserting clause (6) to Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India. … said 103rd amendment to Constitution was challenged before the Hon’ble Apex Court and after hearing the Hon’ble Apex Court vide its majority Judgment dated: 07-11-2022 in the case of Janhith Abhiyan v. Union of India reported in 2023 (5) SCC 1 held the 103rd amendment to the Constitution of India, providing reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections of the Society as constitutionally valid.”

He claimed that the meritorious and well-deserving students and other persons belonging to EWS will be benefitted by the implementation of EWS Reservation Scheme, since they are incapable of accessing the courts themselves.

“… to the knowledge of the Petitioner no adverse effect will be caused to the respondents arrayed herein and to the knowledge of the Petitioner no other personal bodies/institutions are likely to be affected by the orders sought in the writ petition. … It is submitted that, the Petitioner has made representation on 14 -01-2024 to the Chief secretary, State of Karnataka and Principal secretary, Department of Social Welfare seeking for implementation of the Economic Weaker Section Reservation scheme/policy for the benefit of students and individuals at large coming under the umbrella of economic weaker section of the society, the above said representation has remained unattended”, the petition reads.

The petitioner has contended that the delay of each day in implementation of EWS reservation in the Karnataka State has disproportionately affected economically disadvantaged students and aspiring candidates waiting for recruitment in Government Services and that non-implantation reservation is hindering their access to opportunities for advancement.

“The inaction on the part of Respondents in not taking any steps and measures to implement the 103rd amendment to the 14 constitution has resulted in great hardship and injustice to the individuals at large belonging to that section of the society. … the implementation of 10% reservation for the people belonging to economically weaker section of the society in the State was only assured. However, absolutely no steps and measure are taken for implementation of the same”, further claims the petitioner.

The petitioner has pointed out in the petition that the implementation of the EWS Reservation would also make them eligible for crucial financial assistance from the Government including scholarships, loan, and other benefits from the Government and its agencies and that such implementation will contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic status of the individuals and their families.

“It is submitted that, the immediate implementation of the EWS reservation is essential and beneficial for the deserving individuals from the economically weaker section of the society and the next academic year for admission of students for under graduate and post graduate courses are nearing. As such, there is a need for interference at the hands of this Hon’ble Court in order to safeguard the interest of public at large”, also says the PIL.

The petitioner, therefore, has prayed for the High Court to issue a writ of mandamus and direct the Centre to forthwith implement The Constitution (One Hundred and Third) Amendment Act, 2019 providing for reservation to the economically weaker sections of society.

Cause Title: Girish Bharadwaj v. Union of India & Ors.