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Article 15(6) Is Only Enabling Provision: Kerala HC Dismisses PIL Seeking 10% EWS Quota In Higher Secondary Admissions [Read Order]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
14 Aug 2020 4:00 AM GMT
Article 15(6) Is Only Enabling Provision: Kerala HC Dismisses PIL Seeking 10% EWS Quota In Higher Secondary Admissions [Read Order]
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Article 15(6) is only an enabling provision, observed the High Court of Kerala while dismissing a PIL that sought direction to the state to earmark 10% quota for economically weaker section students, who apply for Higher Secondary course, for the year 2020- 21.

However, the Kerala Government has, on Tuesday, reportedly issued an order reserving 10% of the total seats in various batches in government higher secondary and vocational higher secondary schools for students from the EWS in the unreserved category.

While considering the Public Interest Litigation filed by Samastha Nair Samajam, the bench comprising Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly noted that the clause (6) of Article 15 is only a provision, enabling the State Government for  making any special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker section other than mentioned in clauses (4) and (5). 

Referring to Ajit Singh and others v. State of Punjab and others [(1999) 7 SCC 209], the court observed that , since it is an enabling provision, a discretion is vested in the State to consider providing reservation if the circumstances mentioned in those articles so warranted. The bench said:

"In State of Kerala, there is an Act called Kerala Education Act, 1958, which governs admissions and appointments in both, the Government and other recognized institutions..No special provision has been pointed out by the learned counsel for the petitioner providing reservation for economically weaker section in the society as per the 103rd Constitution amendment. As stated supra, Article 15(6) is only an enabling provision."

Holding that the petitioner association has not made out any prima facie case for ordering notice to the state, the bench dismissed the PIL, giving it liberty to file fresh writ petition, if there is substantive cause. 

Know The Law

Article 15(6) was introduced as per 103rd amendment to the Constitution of India. It reads as follows:

""6) nothing in this article or sub clause (g) of clause (1) of article 19 or clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the state from making:-

a) any special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker section of citizen other than the class mentioned in clause (4) and (5) and

b) any special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens other than the classes mentioned in clause (4) and (5) in so far as such special provisions relate to their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the state, other than minority educational institutions referred in clause (1) of article 30,"

Last week, the Supreme Court, referred a batch of writ petitions, challenging the 10% quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), to a five-Judge bench.

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