A bench headed by the Chief Justice SA Bobde has decided to defer the Union Government’s plea to refer the 2018 judgement of the court excluding members belonging to the creamy layer of the Scheduled Castes (SC)/ Scheduled Tribes (ST) from availing the benefits of reservation in educational institutes and jobs, to a seven judge bench of the court by two weeks.
The 2018 judgement of the court specifically excluded members belonging to the creamy layer of SC/ST’s from availing the benefits of reservation or affirmative action, which are given according to Article 16 of the Indian constitution.
The creamy layer of Other Backward Castes (OBC’s) are already not permitted to avail benefits accruing from the system of reservation in educational institutes and jobs in government and private sector.
Creamy layer is referred to a specific annual income fixed by the government, members earning above this amount are counted as belonging to the creamy layer.
This current petition filed by Samta Andolan Samiti and former IAS officer OP Shukla, seeks to evolve a scientific method and standards to be followed while implementing the policy of reservation. They contend that is being used as tool for vote bank politics and defeats the very purpose behind its introduction.
According to Article 341 (1) of the Indian constitution, the President of India is empowered to list castes as belonging to the category of Scheduled Castes after consulting the Governor of the state.
Article 341 (2) empowers the Parliament to include and exclude castes from the list of Scheduled Castes.
Article 342 deals in the same manner with Scheduled Tribes.