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Apex court closes contempt case

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J. Venkatesan

Against State government on the issue of filing an affidavit on creamy layer

State appoints panel to look into creamy layer issue

Petitions become infructuous with panel formation

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday closed the suo motu contempt proceedings initiated against the Kerala government relating to filing of an affidavit on creamy layer in the State pursuant to the directives contained in the 1992 Indra Sawhney 1 (Mandal case) judgment. Besides the suo motu contempt proceedings, two contempt cases were also filed against the State on the same issue.

A Bench of Justice S.B. Sinha and Justice L.S. Panta dropped the contempt proceedings and disposed of the matter taking into consideration the appointment of the Rajendra Babu Commission to go into the creamy layer issue. In its brief order, the Bench said “counsel for the petitioners states that in view of the subsequent events, inter alia, the judgment of this court in Nair Service Society vs. State of Kerala - these contempt petitions have become infructuous. The contempt petitions are dismissed as having become infructuous. Suo motu contempt petition initiated against the respondents is (also) closed accordingly.” Pursuant to the 1992 judgment, Kerala government enacted the Kerala State Backward Classes (Reservation of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1995, in which it was declared that there was no socially advanced sections in the State of Kerala and that the reservation, which had been in operation since 1958, would continue to operate.

Thereafter the Supreme Court passed an order on November 4, 1996, requesting the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court to appoint a high powered committee to determine the criteria for identification of creamy layer. Later, following the appointment of the Justice Narendran Commission to identify creamy layer, the State filed an affidavit seeking time for compliance with the 1992 judgment.

Taking a serious view of this affidavit, the court initiated suo motu contempt proceedings. Meanwhile, in February 2007, acting on a petition from the Nair Service Society, the Supreme Court set aside a notification issued by the Kerala government providing quotas for jobs and in educational institutions by including the creamy layer category within the quotas.At that time, the court did not pass any order in the contempt cases.

Subsequently Kerala appointed the Rajendra Babu Commission in pursuance of the judgment.

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