New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a plea seeking exclusion of the so-called creamy layer from the schedule caste/tribe (SC/ST) community and a court direction laying down guidelines governing such exclusion.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the matter would be heard at a later date.
The public interest litigation (PIL) was brought by Samta Andolan Samiti, the umbrella body of general and OBC government employees and nine people belonging to the SC/ST community. The petition sought exclusion of the creamy layer, or the relatively wealthier and better educated members of the backward classes, on the grounds that they were cornering reservation benefits. Due to this, benefits were not percolating down to people with genuine needs.
It has been claimed in the petition that non-exclusion of creamy layer from schedule caste and schedule tribe is “illegal, arbitrary and unjustified as being contrary to the basic structure of the Constitution".
Stressing on the need for exclusion, the plea says that it violates Article 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India that ensure fundamental right of equality and social justice to all citizens of India, including protection of the actual backward and deprived within the SC/STs.
The petition further highlights the intention of the framers of the Constitution of ensuring that benefits percolate to the right persons and holds that despite the list of SC/ST’s, it is not insulated and the criteria for deciding backwardness may differ on a case-to-case basis.