challenge to the validity of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment which provides 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to the ‘economically weaker sections [EWS] of the society’ but excludes the ‘poorest of poor’ among Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes from its ambit.

Some of the vital issues the judgment may address include whether the EWS quota violated the Basic Structure of the Constitution, whether the reservation was contrary to the equality code to treat all equally without discrimination, and more importantly if the reservation ate into the future prospects of merit-based candidates.

The government said the EWS quota was an “independent compartment”. The court had repeatedly asked the government during the hearing whether the quota would take a piece of the pie from the 50% available non-reserved or open category. It also questioned the exclusion of backward classes from availing the quota.