The Supreme Court has expressed reluctance in overturning a section of the women’s reservation law that ties its implementation to the Census, stating that doing so would be challenging.
A plea by Congress leader Jaya Thakur, seeking immediate enforcement of the 128th Constitution (Amendment) Bill, commonly known as the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, which aims to reserve one-third of Lok Sabha and state assembly seats for women, was declined by a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti. The law specifies that it will come into effect after the Census.
The bench explained that there is an existing petition on the issue before the top court, and Thakur’s plea will be addressed on November 22 alongside the ongoing matter.
Although senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Thakur, argued that a census was unnecessary for women’s reservations, the bench countered, stating that there are multiple aspects to consider, such as seat reservations and other related issues.
The court did not dismiss the plea but decided not to issue a notice, instead associating it with the pending case.
The 128th Constitution (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to reserve one-third of Lok Sabha and state assembly seats for women, was passed with unanimous approval in the Rajya Sabha on September 21. The bill is now pending approval from the majority of state assemblies and will be enacted following a delimitation exercise based on a census planned for the following year.
This development marks a significant step toward gender equity in India’s political representation, with women accounting for almost half of the nation’s registered voters but comprising only a small fraction of lawmakers in Parliament and state