Neena Vyas

Union Ministers rule out law to counter the effect of Supreme Court verdict

NEW DELHI: The Union Government has made it clear that the law as it stands does not leave the "creamy layer" of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes out of job reservation or any other quota, including promotions and direct recruitment, to which they are entitled. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi sees no need for legislation to counter the effect of the recent verdict of a five-Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the quota case.

Union Minister of State Suresh Pachauri said that according to Attorney-General Milon Banerjee, whom the Government asked to interpret the judgment, the words in the verdict on the creamy layer issue were "obiter dicta" and not the operative part.

Indra Sawhney case

Secondly, an earlier nine-Judge Constitution Bench, in the Indra Sawhney case (Mandal case), said the creamy layer restriction did not apply to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. In any case, a five-Judge Bench could not overrule a nine-Judge Bench. The judgment in the Indra Sawhney case was the law of the land, the Minister emphasised.

Mr. Dasmunsi and Mr. Pachauri said that in the light of this interpretation there was no need to bring in legislation on this issue

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