Legality of SC/ST Amendment Act: A 2 Judge Bench of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit & Justice Indu Malhotra will commence the hearing for final arguments in the case pertaining to the challenge to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) (Amendment), Act, 2018. In 2018, Parliament introduced Section 18A to overturn safeguards introduced by the Supreme Court in its Kashinath Mahajan judgment The three safeguards that were introduced were a)Conduct a preliminary enquiry prior to the registration of a First Incident Report (FIR); b)Investigation officer must receive further approval prior to effectuating an arrest; c)Grant anticipatory bail to any accused, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court. The review petition in Kashinath Mahajan is also pending before the case along with these petitions. The Bench on the previous date of hearing had taken note of the submission of counsels for the petitioners and the respondents that at least 3 working days would be required to hear the matter, and ordered the matter to be listed on 26th March 2019 for final arguments in the case.
Reservation for Economically Weaker Sections: The 3 Judge headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi will take up the petitions challenging the 103rd Constitution Amendment Act, which grants 10% reservation in education and employment to persons belonging to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) on Thursday, March 28th. The Court will decide whether the case needs to be referred to a larger Bench. The Court, on the previous date of hearing had declined the plea to stay the operation of the amendment. Dr. Rajeev Dhawan who appeared for the petitioners, had cited the decisions in M Nagaraj & Ors. v. Union of India and the recent decision of the Court in Jarnail Singh v. Lacchmi Narain Gupta to further substantiate his claim that the 50% cap on reservation was part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution.
On 15th March, before the Supreme Court closed for a week for Holi, it notified the listing of 5 cases that would be heard by a Constitution Bench of 5 Judges from Wednesday March 27th onwards. Though the Bench for these cases is yet to be notified, the 5 cases that will be heard by the Constitution Bench are: