The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Tuesday said the Supreme Court verdict upholding the 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in educational institutions and government jobs has raised apprehensions and should be referred to a full bench for review.
In a statement, the Left party said the judgment has brought to the forefront "pertinent questions" about its impact on reservation for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and Other Backward Classes in the absence of caste census, non-availability of data and criteria to determine the economically weaker sections of forward castes.
"The judgment has created apprehensions with several political parties and social movements demanding that the judgment be referred to a larger constitution bench of the Supreme Court for clarification and constitutional merit of the judgment.
"CPI demands that a full bench of the Supreme Court review the present judgment. The legislative intent behind reservation was not poverty alleviation but affirmative action for historically discriminated and deprived sections of our society," the party said.
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld by a 3-2 majority the 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in educational institutions and government jobs, saying it was not discriminatory and did not violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
While Chief Justice U U Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat dissented from the majority opinion that upheld the 103rd Constitution amendment of 2019, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari said the use of basic structure doctrine as a "sword" to "stultify" the effort to do economic justice cannot be countenanced.
The CPI also said that at a time when privatisation is being "aggressively pursued" by the present government, the fight for reservation in the private sector must continue with even greater strength.
"Refer the SC verdict on reservation for EWS to the full bench," the statement said.