A report identifying the ‘creamy layer' among backward classes in Tamil Nadu, prepared by the State Backward Classes Commission in accordance with the direction of the Supreme Court, was handed over to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday. According to an official release, the court had ordered on November 16, 1992, that reservation should not exceed 50 per cent.
In a bid to continue the prevailing reservation of 69 per cent, the government headed by Ms. Jayalalithaa passed a Bill in the Assembly on December 31, 1993 seeking to protect the existing level of reservation for Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in educational institutions and State government jobs. After becoming an Act, this was included to the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution also to put it beyond judicial purview.
Responding to petitions against this Act, the Supreme Court on July 13, 2010, said that if a State were to provide reservation for more than 50 per cent, such a decision should be based on quantifiable data in respect of the communities in question.
If the commission wanted to exceed the 50 per cent ceiling while re-fixing the quota, it could take into consideration the parameters laid down by the Supreme Court in the Mandal case judgment — compelling circumstances based on local conditions.
It also asked the State government to place before the BC Commission quantifiable data on backward communities for fresh determination of quota. On the basis of such data, the Commission would have to decide the quantum of reservation and this exercise should be completed in one year — by July 2011.
Subsequently, responding to a petition for removing the ‘creamy layer' from the reservation meant for Backward Classes, the Supreme Court on January 3, 2011, directed the Backward Classes Commission to identify the creamy layer by July this year. Accordingly, the commission was handed over relevant data. Based on the data, the commission headed by retired judge of the Madras High Court, M.S. Janarthanam, prepared a report regarding the reservation quota and the creamy layer.