In 2018, in Jarnal Singh’s Case, Supreme Court’s 2006 five judge bench ruling in Nagaraj case, the court ruled against the execution of creamy layer from reservation for SC/ST’s in government job and promotions.

SC categorically excluded creamy layer for reservation in promotion and said that for state administrative efficiency is paramount.

Now, the center has once again filed petition before SC to refer the same issue to a seven-judge bench which would be heard in the New Year.

States in Jarnal Singh’s case are left to determine the adequacy of representation of SC/ST’s in government job via promotion and whether Reservation ought to improve administrative efficiency or not.

Creamy Layer is term used for better off individuals in reservation category who do not need the benefit of reservation.

The entire question before SC is whether the principle of creamy layer should be applied or not in Reservation in Promotion.

Further more Parliament is within its power to exercise inclusion or removal such persons from presidential list based on relevant factors required for reservation in promotions keeping interpretation of Article 341 & 342.

In Jarnal Singh’s case, SC ruled that application of creamy layer principle to SC/ST would be within the mandate of right to equality as envisaged under Sec 14 of the Constitution of India.

Article 16 (4A)- Gives powers to state make any law regarding reservation in promotions for SC/ST.

Article 16 (4B)- reserved promotions for SC/ST’s can be forwarded to subsequent year barring ceiling of 50 percent where carried forward posts does not apply to subsequent years.

The three (3) conditions laid down by Nagaraj Judgment are :

  1. States must show the backwardness of class
  2. Show inadequate representation of that class who needs reservation in promotion.
  3. Reservations are necessary for administrative efficiency.

Thus the apex courts view is clear and settled that Reservation in promotion is not compulsory and states enjoys the discretion. Socially advanced people must give up the right of reservation in SC/STs group while seeking reservation in promotions so that the benefit can go to the marginalized.

Currently only OBC enjoys exclusion of creamy layer principle and now SC/ST’s also wants the same. Let us see how this gets settled in the coming year of 2020.

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