Government defends exclusion of creamy layer

At the ongoing hearing of Dr.K.Krishna Murthy vs.Union of India at the Supreme Court this morning, the expected happened. While concluding his submission before the Constitution Bench, the ASG, Gopal Subramanium conceded that as a Constitutional lawyer, he would favour consistency in the definition of backward classes, whether it is for the purpose of Articles 14, 15 and 16 or for Part IX of the constitution, the subject of the current litigation. As for as the constituents of backward classes are concerned, the logic applicable to Articles 14,15 and 16 must also apply to Parts IX and IX A of the Constitution, he said. This was in response to Justice Raveendran’s query whether the Government thinks that creamy layer must be excluded from backward classes for the purpose of reservation in Panchayats and municipalities.

While claiming that the setting is different under Articles 14, 15 and 16 (because they pertain to access to education and employment) as compared to Part IX and IXA (which deal with political participation), he conceded that the logic is the same. “The moment a person is considered as a creamy layer, he or she steps out of the definition of the BC”, he accepted citing Ashoka Kumar Thakur and Indra Sawhney judgments of the Court.

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  • Govt accepts creamy layer and after amendment got validated then raises the creamy layer to such an extent that there is no meaning to creamy layer.

  • That was not a sound argument, because the concept of creamy layer was developed in a specific context and for a specific purpose and extending it like this would create more problems.I am not for reservations for OBCS in local bodies and support the reservation for women in local bodies.Bringing in creamy layer in electroal sphere has many implications, all of which may not be clear now.The right to contest and represent are very different from the rights one is entitled to on account of reservations in education and
    employment. The issues before the
    Court in Indra Sawhney and Ashok
    Thakkur were specific and were raised in the given context. The debate had nothing to do with reservation for OBCS in local bodies. By no means they could be construed as issues on defining OBCS for all purposes and in all contexts.Extending creamy layer to
    electoral sphere could be challenged on the grounds of equality because the right to contest cannot be linked with
    one’s income and status.It goes
    against the very principle of
    equality enshrined in the constitution.

  • I completely agree with Mr. Ravi Srinivas. Creamy layer limit is tailored for education sector to prevent more advanced sections misusing
    OBC reservation. Here in this case, I feel somebody is tricking some body either judge is tricking govt lawyer or govt lawyer is tricking judge.
    Government clearly knows that it is impossible to define creamy layer limit if court clears OBC reservation in local bodies.
    We all know that only unsalaried middle class participate in local body elections because rich people eyes on only MLA and MP elections.
    It is impossible to define creamy layer for this unsalaried and untaxable middle class sector. Even if creamy layer limit could be defined it would be only
    very manipulative and an eye wash.