Exclude ‘creamy layer’ from quota, apex court urged (Lead)

August 23rd, 2011 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday issued notices to the central and state governments on a petition seeking exclusion of the “creamy layer” from the reserved category so that the most backward Dalits and tribals could get the benefits of reservation.

Petitioner O.P. Shukla, a retired Dalit government official, sought a review of the list of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to ensure equitable distribution of benefits of reservation.

He sought the exclusion of Chamar, Mala, Mahar, Meena, Dusad and Dhobi communities from the list.

Shukla, who belongs to the Balmiki community, retired in 2009 from the income tax appellate tribunal as member-judicial.

The petition said the exclusion of the “creamy layer” from the reserved category was in tune with the recommendations of various commissions and committees set up for purpose and also the law laid down by the apex court.

The apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik issued the notices after senior counsel R. Venkataramani sought the defining of the power, scope, and ambit of Articles 341 and 342 of the constitution, that deal with the inclusion of a caste or tribe in the scheduled list.

The petitioner also sought the court’s direction to the central government and states for an equitable distribution of the share of reservation among 99 percent of the most backward Dalits and tribals.

Shukla has sought the implementation of the 1965 Lokur Committee recommendations for the periodic review of the list of SC/ST.

This exercise has already been undertaken by Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh, he said.

He said the central and state governments had failed to exclude the “creamy layer” from the reserved list.

The petition said that the reservation policy had been implemented in a “lop-sided” manner by the government, thereby benefiting a few groups and leaving out 99 percent of the targeted people.

Shukla said that 1,677 communities belonging to SC/ST - about 99 percent of the total Dalit and tribal population - have largely remained untouched by the benefits of reservation.

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