The Supreme Court on Friday clarified that exclusion of creamy layer among Other Backward Classes (OBCs) from the purview of reservations in government jobs was applicable to all the castes under this category and there cannot be any exception.
Dismissing a petition seeking to spare certain castes engaged in hereditary occupations from the creamy layer rule, a Bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal said the apex court verdict in the Mandal case did not envisage exclusion of any such group from the rule of creamy layer.
Any sub-classification among the OBCs would result into deprivation of the benefit of reservation to those who actually need it, the apex court said.
"The moment you start creating classes within a class, it will defeat the purpose of reservation as deserving candidates will be deprived of its benefits," it said.
"There is no such law that any of OBCs are excluded from creamy layer," the Bench observed.
Petitioner Haribhau Rathod, a BJP MP from Yavatmal in Maharashtra had sought exemption from operation of the rule of 'creamy layer' for persons working as artisans or engaged in other hereditary occupations like performing last rites at crematoriums or skinning of dead animals.
He had sought implementation of a 1993 Office Memorandum of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Empowerment, which provided that the rule of exclusion of creamy layer in quota for OBCs under Article 16(4) of the Constitution would not apply to persons working as artisans or engaged in hereditary occupations.
The court, however, said "the office report (memorandum) does not relate to exclusion of any OBC from creamy layer for reservation."
The Court had on Monday justified the exclusion of the creamy layer in the Backward Classes, including the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, from the purview of reservations in Government jobs, saying it was intended to uplift the worse off among these communities.
"The concept of creamy layer is not meant to exclude anybody…but to promote those who are financially worse off," it had said.
Commenting on Government's stand, the court had said if the affluent among the Backward Classes were not excluded from the purview of quota in government jobs, it would adversely affect those who actually need it.
"Do you mean to say that OBCs who are not in the category of creamy layer should not get the benefit and financially well-off among them should continue to get the benefit of reservation at the cost of those who really deserve it?" the court had asked.
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