New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) The Supreme Court today ruled out early formation of a Constitution bench to deal with various issues related to reservation, including the extension of “creamy layer” exclusion principle in grant of quota to SC/ST government employees in promotion.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had earlier said that a five-judge Constitution bench would examine as to whether its 2006 verdict in the M Nagraj case needed a re-look.
The verdict had said that the creamy layer exclusion principle, applicable in grant of quota to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), cannot be applied to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for promotions in government jobs.
“It will take some time to constitute a bench,” the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, today said when lawyers Naresh Kaushik and Suyash Mohan Guru mentioned the matter and sought early setting up of the larger bench to deal with the issue.
The court had earlier tagged several petitions on the issue of grant of quota to SC/ST employees in promotions including the one filed by the Madhya Pradesh government against the High Court decision declaring the M P Public Service (MPSC) Promotion Rules, 2002 as ultra virus to the Constitution.
The MPSC Promotion Rules provided for the quota in promotion also to the SC-ST government employees.
Earlier, a two-judge bench of the apex court had referred a batch of petitions to the CJI for consideration of the issue by a larger bench.
The 2006 verdict in the M Nagaraj versus Union of India had ruled out the application of creamy layer exclusion principle for SC-ST employees.
The bench, while referring the matters to the CJI, had also referred to earlier verdicts of 1992 Indra Sawhney and others versus Union of India (popularly called Mandal Commission verdict) and 2005 E V Chinnaiah versus State of Andhra Pradesh which had dealt with creamy layer exclusion principle for OBCs.
In one of the matters, the Maharashtra government, through its resolution in 2004, had granted reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and De-Notified Tribes, Nomadic Tribes, Special Backward Category and Other Backward Classes in job promotions also.
The apex court had said that clarity was required on the application of creamy layer principle in a situation of competing claims within the same races, communities, groups or parts of SC/ST communities notified by the President under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution.
The bench had sought clarification on Article 16(4), 16 (4A) and 16(4B) of the Constitution of India, which deals with the power of a state government to make provisions for reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion, was not adequately represented in the services under the state.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.