New Delhi — The Supreme Court Friday rejected a public suit filed by a Member of Parliament seeking exclusion of certain communities from the purview of ‘creamy layer’ within the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Justice C.K. Thakker and Justice R.V. Raveendran told counsel for the petitioner that the petition had been filed on a wrong presumption that the Ministry of Social Welfare and Empowerment’s 1993 office memorandum, relied on by him, was really not applicable to the OBCs as it pertained only to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Dismissing the petition, the bench said: “There is no law which says that any of the OBCs are excluded from the creamy layer. The moment you start creating a class within a class, deserving candidates will be deprived of the reservation.”
Petitioner Haribhau Rathod, MP from Yavatmal in Maharashtra, sought exemption from the `creamy layer’ for people working as artisans or engaged in other hereditary occupations. He sought implementation of the 1993 office memorandum, which provides that the rule of exclusion of creamy layer in reservation for OBCs under Article 16 (4) of the Constitution would not apply to persons working as artisans or engaged in hereditary occupations like skinning of dead animals among others.
He contended that these categories of people had been denied the benefit of reservation by the rule of exclusion only because the governments concerned had not identified and issued necessary notification as directed in the 1993 office memorandum. He prayed for a direction for implementation of the office memorandum.