Reservation in promotions: Disquiet over SC’s ruling on creamy layer for SCs, STs

Reservation in promotions: Disquiet over SC’s ruling on creamy layer for SCs, STs


  1. Government’s dilemma over Supreme Court ruling on concept of creamy layer for SC/STs.
  2. In the present judgment, the Supreme Court has decided not to collect data of backwardness to provide reservation to SC/STs but it may consider the concept of creamy layer for SC/ST.

Important Facts:

  1. Supreme Court has said the concept of creamy layer to be applicable for SC/STs, which, so far, was applicable to OBC only (Families with income above Rs. 8 lakhs/ annum are not eligible for reservation).
  2. It has been argued concept of creamy layer for SC/STs will defeat the very purpose of reservation because:
  • Since the SC/STs are already considered backward, further dividing them on the basis of economic backwardness to avail reservation may not sound appropriate.
  • This verdict is in contrast to the judgment in the Ashok Thakur case in 2008 when judges while providing the reservation to SC/ST did not considered the concept the Creamy Layer..
  • Economically prosperous SCs will continue to face discrimination in employment.
  • Decision may also encourage the demand to implement the creamy layer criteria in the overall recruitment of SC/STs (from selection to promotion).
  • Nowhere in the world the reservation provided for equal access to job/education is based on the economic criteria.
  • Many sectors are being privatized and there is no reservation in private sector.
  1. Supreme Court stand on its Judgement:
  • To ensure there is no discrimination against the poor/backward category within the same class.
  • Will enable the backward classes of citizen to move forward with other citizen of India on an equal basis.
  • SC judgement is within the principal of equality under article 14 and 16 when excluding the creamy layer.
  • Parliament will have complete freedom to include or exclude persons from the Presidential Lists based on relevant factors under Article 341 and 342 of the constitution.


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