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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Reservation in promotions: Disquiet over SC’s ruling on creamy layer for SCs, STs

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As the Supreme Court has upheld reservation in promotion for the SC/ST communities, the court’s position on the idea of a creamy layer has put the political class in a dilemma.
So far creamy layer is applicable only for OBCs seeking reservation. Last year, the creamy layer ceiling for OBC reservation was raised to Rs 8 lakh per year — families with income above this were not eligible.

How will a creamy layer apply to SC/STs is uncharted territory. While the government says it is still “examining” the judgment, SC/ST groups are restive in a poll year that has seen caste protests nationwide.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Lok Janshakti Party president and Cabinet Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said, “I don’t agree with the observation given on the creamy layer.” The minister, an ally of the ruling BJP, said he would wait for the government order that would be issued by the DoPT in line with the verdict.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the "creamy layer test" would apply if reservatios in promotion are given to the SCs and STs. It said this was needed to prevent the creamy layer amongs SCs and STs from bagging all the coveted jobs in the public sector.

The top court also held that the authority needs to consider "efficiency of administration" while providing promotions under the law. This will be applicable at every step of promotion, said the court.

However, the court left it to Parliament to exclude the creamy layer from the Presidential Lists contained under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution
The Supreme Court Wednesday paved the way for grant of quota for promotions in the government jobs to SCs and STs, holding that the states were not required to "collect quantifiable data" reflecting the backwardness among these communities.

The verdict cleared a major hurdle that was cited by the central government in granting reservation in promotion to its employees belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).

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