Raising upper income limit for creamy layer to face SC scanner

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New Delhi, Oct 12 (UNI) The recent decision of the Union government to raise the income limit of creamy layer among the reserve categories from Rs 2.5lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh per year is likely to come under the Supreme Court scanner on October 14, when it will hear two applications, one filed by Union of India and another by Professor Indra Sen.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Arijit Pasayat, C K Thakker, R V Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari in their judgment dated April 10, 2008 had unanimously ruled that the creamy layer among OBCs should be excluded from the benefit of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in admission to the Centrally-run educational institutions of higher studies.

The apex court had, however, upheld the validity of the government notification providing 27 per cent quota to OBC candidates in admission to educational institutions like IIMs, IITs and post-graduate medical science courses.

The court had, during the last hearing, also made it clear that seats which remain vacant due to non-availability of eligible OBC candidates must go to general category candidates.

In a recent decision, the Union government has also announced its decision that seats reserved for SC/ST candidates will not go to general category and shall remain vacant even if suitable SC/ST candidates were not available.

The decision of the government regarding SC/ST category candidates may not face any problem in the Supreme Court, if it remains confined only to SC/ST category.

But if the government tries to extend the same benefit to OBC candidates, then there is a possibility of confrontation between the government and the highest court of the land.

Anti-reservationists are likely to seek the intervention of the Supreme Court so far as the decision of the government raising the upper income limit for OBCs from Rs 2.5 to 4.5 lakhs is concerned.

They are likely to plead that this is an attempt by the government to nullify the orders of the apex court to exclude creamy layer from the benefits of quota policy.

UNI SC RJ RP KP1824

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