IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


28th August, 2020 Social Issues

Context: A five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court held that States could sub-classify Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Central List to provide preferential treatment to the “weakest of the weak”.

Justice Mishra judgement:

  • The Constitution Bench led by Justice Mishra said reservation has created inequalities within the reserved castes itself. There is a “caste struggle” within the reserved class as the benefits of reservation are being usurped by a few.
  • It is clear that caste, occupation, and poverty are interwoven. The State cannot be deprived of the power to take care of the qualitative and quantitative difference between different classes and to take ameliorative measures.
  • In his 78-page judgment for the Bench, Justice Mishra said the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Central List do not constitute a “homogenous group”.
  • Justice Mishra’s judgment is significant as it fully endorses the push to extend the creamy layer concept to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Chinnaiah judgment:

  • With this, the Bench took a contrary view to a 2004 judgment delivered by another Coordinate Bench of five judges in the E.V. Chinnaiah case.
  • The Chinnaiah judgment had held that allowing the States to unilaterally “make a class within a class of members of the Scheduled Castes” would amount to tinkering with the Presidential list.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/states-can-have-sub-groups-among-scssts-supreme-court/article32453272.ece