Supreme Court to Decide on Exclusion of Creamy Layer from SC/ST Category

January 21, 2018

A plea has been lodged in the Supreme Court seeking prevention of creamy layer from availing benefits under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Category. In the case Samta Andolan Samiti v. Union of India & Ors. (read here), the Petitioner has contended that reservation and other welfare schemes are not reaching the people in genuine need for such reservation, as the creamy layer in Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Communities are taking away the benefits given to them by the State and Central Government.

The petition states that the benefits of reservation policy are not percolating down to the people, who are in actual need of the same and the practice of including the members of creamy layer of the said communities has resulted in abuse of any advanced and affluent members of the said communities.

Non-exclusion of creamy layer from SC/ST category is perpetuating the casteism in the country. For example even after inter-caste marriage these SC/ST’s do not wish to do away with their caste benefits.

In their Petition, the NGO has also stated that one of the causes leading to Naxalite Movement in India is that benefit of reservation is not percolating to backward sections of SC/ST communities.

The term “creamy layer” for used by the Supreme Court in the case of Indra Sawhney v. Union of India (1992), wherein the Constitution Bench directed to exclude socially advanced persons/sections (creamy layer) from ‘Other Backward Classes’ category.

The Petitioners have prayed for issuance of appropriate guidelines prescribing parameters and criteria for excluding creamy layer from SC/ST category, in pari materia to OBC.

The Supreme Court Bench has admitted the Petition and has directed that Petition shall be served on the Central Agency and matter shall be listed for hearing after two weeks.

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Shilpi Sharan

- Shilpi Sharan is the Editor at - an Advocate with extensive knowledge in myriad fields of Law. She has a flair of writing and has legal publications in national and international law magazines to her credit. She focuses on legal research and aims at raising public awareness of laws in India.