Creamy layer exclusion equally applicable to forward class: Counsel

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New Delhi, Oct 3 (UNI) Senior counsel K Parasaran, appearing for Centre and Tamil Nadu state defending the reservation policy of the government, contended before the Supreme Court today that principle of exclusion of creamy layer should be made equally applicable to the forward class of society, as it is being applied in the case of OBC.

Mr Parasaran told the five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan that the caste reservation was fully justified, as such policy is a must for removing unequality among people belonging to different castes.

He, however, did not elaborate how the principle of exclusion of creamy layer can be applied in General category without there being a reservation for the upper caste.

While defending the government notification providing 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in admission to Centrally-run higher learning Educational Institutions, Mr Parasaran argued that in some cases OBCs and SC, STs are in majority and still they get lesser number of seats, while the upper caste minority gets larger share of seats.

In Tamil Nadu, 69 per cent of seats are reserved for the SC/ST categories.

Pleading for 100 per cent literacy and primary education to OBCs, he sought to justify that the quota policy is on the grounds of financial constraints and hence cent per cent literacy for OBC, SC, ST's is not possible. Therefore, education can be given to them only by providing reservation.

Mr Parasaran also argued that OBCs must be offered some opportunities so that they may avail the same, citing the example of B R Ambedkar who according to him came up only when he was offered an opportunity through reservation.

The Court, however, contested the claim of the counsel by saying that picking up a single case cannot be a justification for caste based reservation.

The Court told the counsel that the reservation policy cannot continue indefinately; some time frame must be there to end the reservation after a particular period of time.

Other judges on the bench were Justices Arijit Pasayat, C K Thakker, R V Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari.

The government is defending its caste based policy on the grounds that the oppressed section of the society have become backward socially, educationally and economically due to the century-long exploitation in the name of caste.

There was also some confusion whether Article 21(A) of the constitution, which makes Right to Education an integral part of Fundamental Right to Life.

The arguments will continue tomorrow.

UNI

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