Higher Education

Higher Education

HC relief for OBCs denied UPSC quota

PUBLISH DATE 17th September 2017

Says Method Used By Govt To Decide Creamy Layer For PSU Staff `Biased'

The Madras high court has slammed the Centre's method of calculating the “creamy layer“ for wards of PSU and private sector employees as “discriminatory“, a development that may help over 60 OBC youngsters join the elite civil services after being denied permission.

The high court has said the principle for determining “creamy layer“ -the well-off among OBCs who are not eligible for Mandal reservations -should be the same for PSUsprivate sector and government services.

While the HC order pertains to two candidates, Rohith Nathan and G Babu, who were denied OBC reservation after clearing the civil services exams conducted by the UPSC, it would prove a boon for over 60 backward youths who are learnt to have been treated similarly as “creamy layer“ in 2016 and 2017.

Government guidelines state that `Group A' and `Group B' (except in certain conditions, like age of promotion) are ineligible for quotas, while others are eligible provided their annual income from other sources is not above Rs 8 lakh. The critical bit is that the annual income does not include the salaries of parents.

The Centre has been applying this “exclusion criterion“ for wards of persons employed in central and state governments, but in case of PSUsprivate sector, the Centre has been calculating the “creamy layer“ on the ba sis of salaries of parents -a fact challenged by resentful candidates in courts.

At the heart of the confusion is the fact that the Centre has not yet worked out the table to determine which posts in PSUs fall under Group A, B, C and D, as happens in the government -a process called “equivalence of posts“.

On August 31, a Madras HC bench of Justice H G Ramesh and Justice G Jayachandran turned down the Centre and DoPT's challenge against the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal in favour of Rohith and Babu, whose parents worked in PSUsprivate sector.

Rohith, who secured 174th rank, was allotted Indian Foreign Service under the OBC quota, but the order was later rescinded and he was given Indian Police Service.

G Babu ranked 629th and could have moved up to 122nd rank under OBC quota but he was not called for joining.

As reported by TOI on July 17, 2016, the National Commission for Backward Classes had written to the government about the anomaly , warning that there could be a backlash from the backwards if the DoPT officials did not rectify their methods of calculating the “creamy layer“ for PSUsprivate sector.

In its judgment, the HC has ruled that if the salary of parents employed in the government is not a criterion for assessing “creamy layer“, the salary of a PSU employee “as a test for identifying creamy layer brings in the element of hostile discrimination“. The court also observed that failure to work out the “equivalence of posts“ has put the wards of employees of PSUs in a disadvantageous position.