The impacts of two consecutive Constitutional Amendments [102nd and 103rd] have come under the scrutiny of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in cases related to reservation.
National Commission for Backward Classes [102nd Amendment]
In Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil vs The Chief Minister, a three judge Bench stayed the operation of the law enacted by the State of Maharashtra introducing Maratha Quota for admission in Educational Institutions and for appointments in the Public Services and posts, and has referred the issue to a Constitution Bench of 5 Judges as it involves interpretation of of the Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018. One of the issues that was considered by the High Court at the instance of the writ petitioners is whether the Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018 affects the competence of the State Legislature to declare a particular caste to be a socially and educationally backward class. Though the High Court negatived this contention, the three judge bench observed that there is no authoritative pronouncement on the interpretation of the provisions inserted by the Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018. "As the interpretation of the provisions inserted by the Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018 is a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution of India, these Appeals are referred to a larger Bench.", the Court said.
EWS Reservation [103rd Amendment]
A three judge bench headed by CJI Bobde, on 5th August 2020, decided to refer to Constitution Bench the petitions challenging the validity of Constitution 103rd Amendment. The bench said that the contention of the centre that 50% ceiling rule will not prevent to amend the Constitution itself in view of the existing special circumstances to uplift the members of the society belonging to economically weaker sections, is a substantial question of law to be examined by a Bench of five Judges. Another substantial question referred was whether the Amendment violates the basic structure of the Constitution, by applying the tests of 'width' and 'identity' with reference to equality provisions of the Constitution?
Last five years [2015-2020] saw six constitutional amendments. Out of this, the Supreme Court has, till now, dealt with four amendments including the one which it struck down.
NJAC [99th Amendment]
The Constitution (Ninety-ninth Amendment) Act, 2014, introduced the National Judicial Appointments Commission to replace the collegium system for appointment of judges. The Amendment Act had come into force on 13th April, 2015. After about six months, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, on 16th October 2015, by 4:1 majority, struck down this amendment observing that supremacy of judiciary in the matter of judges appointment is necessary to preserve judicial independence.
Territory Swapping [100th Amendment]
The Constitution was amended for the 100th time [Constitution (Hundredth Amendment) Act, 2014] to give effect to the acquiring of territories by India and transfer of certain territories to Bangladesh in pursuance of the agreement and its protocol entered into between the Governments of India and Bangladesh. This amendment has not yet been considered by the Court in any case.
GST [101st Amendment]
The 101st Constitutional Amendment was for introducing the Goods and Service Tax. In October 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional validity of Goods And Services Tax (Compensation To States) Act, 2017, as well as the Goods and Services Tax Compensation Cess Rules, 2017, as framed under the Act. The Court noticed that the 101st amendment empowers the Parliament to provide for compensation to the states for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the goods and services tax, "by law", on the recommendation of the Goods and Services Tax Council.
The Constitution (104th Amendment) Act, 2019 extended the reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and states assemblies by ten more years. It also abolished the reserved seats for the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. This amendment is not yet challenged before the Apex Court.