Charity, Not Parity
Upholding the EWS reservations exposes the Supreme Court’s limited understanding of social justice and equality.
Reservations, Justice Chinnappa Reddy famously said in K C Vasanth Kumar and Another v State of Karnataka (1985), were intended for parity, not charity. The rest of his judgment is a lucid and evocative summation of the social justice goals of the scheme of reservations in India. It remains a signpost that the judiciary, long resistant to such ideas of social justice, had come to accept what politicians and wider Indian society understood about the need for vertical reservations in jobs and education to create a truly equal India.