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Madhya Pradesh High Court Clarifies EWS Quota Application: 10% of General Seats, Not Total Vacancies

Madhya Pradesh High Court Clarifies EWS Quota Application: 10% of General Seats, Not Total Vacancies

In a significant ruling, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has provided clarity on the application of the quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), stating that it applies to 10% of general seats and not 10% of the total vacancies for which recruitment tests are organized.

The judgment came in response to a petition filed by candidates Ankush Mishra, Pushpedra, and others, challenging the allocation of EWS quota seats by the Professional Examination Board (PEB). The petitioners contended that with 10% reservation for EWS candidates, 22 posts should have been reserved for them in the advertised 219 posts of lab technicians. However, only four persons were appointed under the EWS quota.

Upon hearing the case, Justice Vivek Agarwal's bench dismissed the petition, affirming the PEB's calculation of seats reserved for EWS. The court's rationale rested on the understanding that EWS reservation aims to benefit economically disadvantaged individuals from general castes. Therefore, the reservation applies to 10% of the general seats available, not 10% of the total vacancies.

Examining the vacancy distribution, the court noted that out of 219 vacancies, 122 posts were reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBCs), 46 for Scheduled Castes (SCs), 13 for Scheduled Tribes (STs), and 34 for the general category.

This judgment underscores the court's interpretation of EWS quota implementation, emphasizing a nuanced understanding that ensures equitable opportunities while addressing the socio-economic disparities prevalent within the general category. By upholding the principle of reservation within the specified parameters, the court's decision reinforces the importance of clarity and adherence to legal frameworks in ensuring fair representation and access to opportunities for all segments of society.

The ruling serves as a guiding precedent for future cases concerning the application of EWS quota in recruitment processes, providing clarity and legal certainty to stakeholders involved. It highlights the judiciary's role in interpreting and safeguarding the principles of equality and social justice embedded in reservation policies, thereby promoting inclusivity and diversity in public institutions and workplaces.

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