The Supreme Court today referred to a Constitution Bench of five judges, the challenge mounted against the Constitution (One Hundred and Third) Amendment Act, which introduced 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)..A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, and Justices R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai passed the reference order today..The Apex Court was dealing with a batch of petitions filed by NGOs Janhit Abhiyan and Youth for Equality, among others, challenging the validity of Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019 on the ground that economic classification cannot be the sole basis for reservation..The petitioners claimed that the decision violated the basic structure of the Constitution and breached the overall 50 per cent ceiling of reservation as mandated under the Indra Sawhney case..The three-judge bench has held that since the court agrees with the petitioners that there is a substantial question of law here, thus the matter would be dealt by a five judge bench. .We are in agreement with the submissions made by the learned counsels appearing for the petitioners that these matters involve substantial questions of law, as such, they are required to be heard by a Bench of five Judges in view of the provision under Article 145(3) of the Constitution of India and Order XXXVIII of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, we are not entering into the merits of the matter on the validity of impugned Amendment Act.Reads SC order .The court in its order has noted that the main plank on which the arguments of the petitioners rest is that the "economic criteria alone cannot be the basis to determine backwardness," and to substantiate this the petitioners had strongly relied on nine-Judge Bench judgment of this Court in the case of Indra Sawhney..The three judge bench has accepted the Centre's request to transfer all such similar cases pending in various state High Courts challenging the 10% EWS reservation to the Supreme Court and would be now tagged along with the main plea before the five-judge bench. .The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in January 2019. It provides reservations in aided and unaided institutions to individuals below an income of Rs 8 lakh per annum. The government has said that the legislation will not affect the existing reservations for other groups..In March last year, the Centre had defended its decision to introduce 10% quota for economically disadvantaged upper castes, arguing that the intention behind the amendment was to bring about “social equality”. The Centre said it wanted to provide equal opportunities in higher education and employment to those who have been “excluded by virtue of their economic status”..Union Cabinet approves 10% reservation for EWS of Upper Castes.Attorney General KK Venugopal, arguing before the Court, had argued that the law does not come under the ambit of the Indra Sawhney verdict..AG Venugopal had argued that decision to grant 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education to EWS is intended to uplift around 200 million people who are below the poverty line even after over 70 years of independence. Justifying the Amendment Act, the Centre had submitted that nobody can say that such people should not be given a "helping hand" to uplift them..EWS Reservation: 103rd Constitutional Amendment necessary for social equality, Centre to SC.Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the petitioners, had told the Bench that there are two issues - whether the matter should go to a Constitution Bench and whether interim relief be granted in the meanwhile.sDhavan had argued that one of the issues which had to be dealt with by the Court was whether or not the Amendment Act violates the basic structure of the Constitution..The Court had reserved its order in the matter on July 31, 2019.