Skim the Cream
Volume III, Issue II, 2020
Through this article, the authors propose the idea of excluding the “creamy layer” among the Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribes (SC/ST) from reservation in education, employment and promotion. Backwardness, though equated only with caste, the authors have rationalized it to be a much bigger concept inclusive of economic status. The creamy layer, that we propose in this article, needs to be adequately determined on the basis of economic indicators which can be achieved through a detailed survey given the abysmal lack of data on caste and socio-economic backwardness. In the light of Jarnail Singh v. Lachhmi Narain Gupta, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has extended the applicability of creamy layer exclusion to the SC and ST categories but on the basis of social indicators like untouchability and backwardness only, which is yet to be implemented in the country. By means of this article, the authors argue that it is the economic status that should be the intelligible differentia excluding the creamy layer by applying the doctrine of reasonable classification. The social justice that the country seeks to achieve can never be achieved if the creamy layer, that includes the economically forward and socially empowered, are not excluded from availing reservation benefits thereby disallowing the same to percolate down to the actually deserving. Empowerment of the already empowered is nothing short of fraud on the Constitution.