‘Creamy layer’ concept cannot be applied to SCs and STs for promotions in Government jobs : SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that there was no need to reconsider the 2006 verdict in Nagraj case putting conditions for granting quota in job promotions for SC/STs. The apex court delivered the verdict  on a batch of petitions seeking that a seven-judge bench reconsiders the court’s 2006 judgement which had put conditions for granting quota benefits in job promotions for SC/ST employees.

The apex court also turned down the Centre’s plea that overall population of SC/ST be considered for granting quota for them.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that states need not collect quantifiable data on backwardness of SC/ST for giving quota in job promotion to SC/ST employees.

The bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, S K Kaul and Indu Malhotra, had reserved its verdict on August 30 after hearing various stakeholders, including the Centre, on the matter.

The Centre and various state governments have also sought reconsideration of this verdict on various grounds, including that the members of the SC and ST communities are presumed to be backward and considering their stigma of caste, they should be given reservation even in job promotions.

In the Nagaraj verdict, the Supreme Court had held that the state was not bound to provide reservation in promotions to SCs/STs. But in case any state wished to make such a provision, it was required to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class as well as its inadequate representation in public employment, the SC had said.

Additionally, the state was also required to ensure that the reservation does not breach the 50 per cent ceiling. The ruling also said that the ‘creamy layer’ concept cannot be applied to SCs and STs for promotions in government jobs.

The Centre has alleged that the verdict in the M Nagraj case had put unnecessary conditions in granting quota benefits to the SC and ST employees and sought its reconsideration by a larger bench.

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