EWS Quota Limited to 10% of General Category Seats: Madhya Pradesh HC

EWS quota_LegallySpeaking

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has ruled that the reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) applies only to 10 percent of the general category seats and does not extend to the total vacant positions during government recruitment drives.

EWS Candidates

The Court made this assertion while rejecting two pleas seeking reservation for more than four posts for EWS candidates in the recruitment of laboratory technicians in Madhya Pradesh, stating that their argument was not in line with the constitutional provision which allocates 10 percent quota for job seekers from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in the general category segment.

“Since the allocation of four posts under the EWS category (by the MP examination authority) aligns with the constitutional provision, the petitions lack merit and are hereby dismissed,” observed a single bench of Justice Vivek Agrawal in his order on April 30.

“It is clear that EWS reservation is applicable only to the general category seats and does not apply to (positions reserved for candidates from) OBCs, SCs, or STs,” stated the bench.

The Court upheld the decision of the state’s Professional Examination Board (PEB) to allocate four posts under the EWS category, emphasizing that its decision cannot be deemed arbitrary.

“Thus, when viewed from this perspective, the total posts available under the unreserved category in the laboratory technician cadre are 34, and designating four posts under the EWS category cannot be considered arbitrary because there could not have been a 10% reservation of the total number of posts, of which 122 are for OBCs, 46 for SCs, and 13 for STs,” the order stated.

The pleas were filed by some candidates challenging the number of seats reserved in different categories by the PEB when advertising 219 vacant positions for laboratory technicians.

“It is argued that if the 10 percent quota for the EWS category is applied, then 22 posts should have been earmarked for the EWS category. However, the respondents (PEB) have allocated only four posts under the EWS category, resulting in petitioners, despite their merit, not being selected for the position of laboratory technician under the EWS category,” the order mentioned while dismissing the pleas.

EWS Reservation

The Centre, through the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019, introduced the provision for 10 percent EWS reservation in admissions and government jobs. The provision was upheld by the Supreme Court with a majority view of 3:2 in November 2022.

Read More: Supreme CourtDelhi High CourtStates High CourtOther CourtsInternational

Recommended For You

About the Author: Nunnem Gangte