New Delhi, Mar 28 (PTI) The Centre today ruled out in the Supreme Court the possibility of excluding the creamy layer from among Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes from getting quota benefits, saying the entire community is “backward”.

The top court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Samta Andolan Samiti seeking exclusion of affluent SC and STs members from availing the quota benefits on the ground that they did not need reservation and it led to deprivation of benefits to those needy among these communities.

“There cannot be any creamy layer concept for SCs and STs,” Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, appearing for the Centre, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

The law officer told the bench, that also comprised Justice A M Khanwilkar, that the entire schedule castes and tribes were “so backward” that the creamy layer concept, applicable in the case of Other Backward Classes quota, cannot be made applicable for the SCs and STs.

Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for the NGO, said due to non-application of “creamy layer exclusion principle”, the deserving and the needy members of SC/ST communities are deprived of the reservation benefits. He also said the issue has been raised only by the members of the SC/ST community.

The bench asked the Centre to file an affidavit in response to the petition within four weeks and fixed the PIL for final disposal in the second week of July.

The plea has contended that benefits of reservation and other government schemes given to the SCs and STs were not reaching the actual beneficiaries due to the creamy layer among these communities which were taking away the quota benefits.

“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 the creamy layers of the said communities has resulted in abuse by the advanced and affluent members of the said communities,” it said.

It claimed that the affluent sections were “snatching” away the maximum benefit and 95 per cent of these communities were at a disadvantageous position, bereft of any benefit.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.