SC Seeks Centre’s Affidavit on PIL to Exclude Creamy Layer among SC/ST from Reservation Benefits
The Supreme Court today sought the view of the Centre in the form of an affidavit on a PIL that sought exclusion of the creamy layer, that is relatively wealthier or well educated, among SC/ST tribes in matters of providing reservation in jobs and education sector.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar granted the Centre four weeks to file the affidavit and posted the PIL for further hearing in the second week of July.
“You take a stand on it and file an affidavit”, CJI Misra told Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha who appeared for the Centre.
The plea was filed by Samta Andolan Samiti, the umbrella body of general and OBC government employees and 9 persons belonging to the SC/ST community.
Gopal Sankaranarayanan and Shobhit Tiwari who appeared for the petitioners sought introduction of the creamy layer concept in SC/ST reservation to keep the rich among them out to ensure that the benefits go to the poor and the needy.
“We are on behalf of the suppressed amongst the SC/ST. But the Centre’s stand is that the whole SC/ST community is still backward and reservation has to be given to entire community with no identification of the creamy layer”, said Shankaranarayanan.
When his stand was sought ASG Narasimha said “there cannot be creamy layer for SC/ST. Presidential determination of SC/ST groups cannot be touched”, he said.
The bench then told the ASG “anyways you make your stand clear in an affidavit”.
The PIL lists Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, National Commission For Scheduled Castes National Commission for Scheduled Tribes as respondents.
Due to non-application of concept of creamy layer in SCs and STs, the actually backward and deprived members of the SCs and STs are having a heart burning that uplifted/affluent and advanced portion of castes included in SCs and STs are taking away the benefits, which are actually designed for them, the lawyers argued.
“The petitioners prefer this writ petition (PIL) under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. The petitioners are the residents of the State of Rajasthan and belong to the poor and downtrodden strata of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes community. Thus the petitioners are approaching this Hon’ble Court for protection of their fundamental rights as the creamy layer in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Communities are siphoning off of the reservation benefits given to them by the State Government as well as the Central Government”, said the plea.
“The Petitioners submit that it is due to the fact that the uplifted / affluent and advanced sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities snatch away the maximum benefit and the 95% members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities are in disadvantageous position and they are still without any benefit of reservation and the benefit of Government Schemes meant for backward Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. Thus, the benefits of reservation policy are not percolating down to the people, who are in actual need of the same and the practice of including the members of the creamy layers of the said Communities has resulted in abuse by the advanced and affluent members of the said communities”, it said.
- Issue a writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, order or direction, whereby all the Respondents be directed to exclude creamy layer from SCs and STs.
- Pass any appropriate Writ, order or direction, whereby all the Respondents be directed to issue appropriate instruction and guidelines prescribing parameters and criteria for excluding creamy-layer from SCs and STs, in parimateria to OBC