‘Creamy Layer’ & Exclusion from Reservation

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‘Creamy Layer’ & Exclusion from Reservation

‘Creamy Layer’ & Exclusion from Reservation

Recently, the Supreme Court held that economic criteria are not the sole basis for determining the ‘creamy layer’ among backward classes.

  • The Supreme Court gave this decision during the hearing of a petition. It is to be noted that in this petition, the notification regarding sub-categorization of backward classes on economic grounds only was challenged by the Haryana Government while fixing the criteria for creamy layer.
  • This notification was issued under the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Admission in Services and Educational Institutions) Act, 2016. The following provisions have been made in it.
  • Those earning more than Rs 6 lakh per annum will be considered under ‘Creamy Layer’. However, basically, this Act of the year 2016 clearly states that “the Government may, by notification, after taking into consideration the social, economic and such other factors as it may deem fit, the persons belonging to backward classes as creamy layer” shall specify the criteria and identification to be carried out. The Court has clarified that this notification is violative of the law declared in the 1992 Indira Sawhney case judgment.
  • The Court noted that socio-scholastic economics and socio-educational economics should also be taken into account in determining the ‘creamy layer’ within the backward classes.

Other Issue:

  • Creamy layer refers to the comparatively leading, better educated and socially affluent members of the OBCs.
  • The term was proposed by the Sattanathan Commission in the year 1971. It recommended that the ‘creamy layer’ should be kept out of quota benefits.
  • In the judgment of Indira Sawhney case (1992), the Supreme Court had directed that the creamy layer among OBCs be excluded from quota benefits.
  • Following a decision of the Constitution Bench in the year 2018, this concept also applies to SC/ST communities.
  • The members in the OBCs by the central government having an income of more than Rs.8 lakh per annum are defined as creamy layer.

Source – Indian Express

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