Centre Says Can't Deny Reservation In Promotion To SC/ST Based On Creamy Layer Concept In Govt Jobs
On August 16, the Centre told the Supreme Court that reservation in promotion in government jobs could not be denied to those belonging to the “creamy layer” adding that once backwardness is presumed and benefits are given, it cannot be taken back.
“They still live with the stigma”
Attorney General KK Venugopal told the bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra that only the President and the Parliament have the power to take away benefits from a certain class of SC/ST. He also said that though few people from the SC/ST community have managed to rise from poverty, they still continue to live with the stigma of caste and backwardness.
Creamy layer, by definition, in the Indian context refers to the socio-economically well-off members of marginalised communities.
As reported by Indian Express, Venugopal told the bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice R F Nariman, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Indu Malhotra, “They have to marry from their own caste. Even a well-off person of SC/ST community cannot marry from a higher caste. The fact that some persons have become affluent does not take away the imprint of caste and backwardness.”
This five-judge bench is examining the 2006 verdict in the M Nagaraj vs Union of India judgement. This particular judgement had ruled that “providing reservation in promotion with consequential seniority as being unconstitutional and violative of the basic structure.” The Nagraj verdict had further stated that if at all the state wanted to introduce reservation in promotion for SC/ST employees, it would have to then furnish data showing backwardness of the class and poor representation of that class in public employment.
Nagaraj Verdict non-implementable: AG
In August 3 hearing, Venugopal had termed the Nagaraj judgement as non-implementable. To this, SC replied that why the states have not collected the quantifiable data, even after 12 years of the Nagaraj verdict. To this Venugopal said, “Because it’s a dynamic process. People die, retire or are transferred, and data keeps fluctuating.”
Venugopal said that Article 16(4)(a) which deals with reservation was a call to affirmative action.