Economic criteria cannot be the sole basis to determine the Creamy layer of OBC: Supreme Court

By- Kanvi Gupta

The State of Haryana has done a big error in determining the creamy layer of OBC from backward classes solely on the basis of economic criteria.

Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose quashed the petition filed by the state of Haryana to exclude creamy layer criteria within the backward classes. The court said that it quashed the petition by giving liberty to the government to issue the fresh notification within the period of three months after taking into account the principles laid down by the court Indra Sawhney-I and the criteria mentioned in Section 5(2) of the 2016 Act for determining ‘creamy layer’.

The court said that appointments to state services and admissions in educational institutions should not be disturbed by this notification.

Children of people having gross annual income up to Rs. 3 lakhs shall, first of all, get the benefit of reservation in services and admission in educational institutions and after that for the left-out quota the children of the family having income between Rs. 3 lakhs and 6 lakhs will be benefited.

The people of backward classes whose income is more than 6 lakhs are considered under creamy layer criteria.

The High Court directed the government to make sub-classification within the non-creamy layer segmenting the people under two criteria of below and above 3 lakhs. An organization approached the Apex Court challenging this notification. The court observed that the notification dated 17.08.2016 is in flagrant violation of the directions issued in Indra Sawhney-I and is at variance with the memorandum dated 08-09-1993 issued by the Union of India.

In spite of Section 5(2) of the 2016 Act making it mandatory for identification and exclusion of ‘creamy layer to be on the basis of social, economic and other relevant factors, the State of Haryana has sought to determine ‘creamy layer’ from backward classes solely on the basis of economic criteria and has committed a grave error in doing so. Therefore, SC quashed the notification on this ground.