Monday, June 11, 2012
High Court questions continuance of reservation for creamy layer
The Madras High Court Bench here on Friday questioned the State government for continuing reservations to ‘creamy layer' among the backward classes though the status quo ordered by the Supreme Court for a year lapsed on July 13, 2011.
A Division Bench of Justices P. Jyothimani and S. Vimala posed the question to Additional Advocate General (AAG) K. Chellapandian while hearing a public interest litigation petition seeking MBC status for all those falling under the common nomenclature Thevar.
When the AAG sought time to obtain instructions, the judges adjourned the hearing without mentioning a date as the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes Commission's (TNBCC) report, submitted to the Chief Minister on July 8, was yet to be tabled in the Assembly and made public.
Three days after the report was submitted, a government order was issued on July 11 stating that the 69 per cent reservation (30 per cent for BCs, 20 per cent for MBCs, 18 per cent for SCs and one per cent for STs) would continue without excluding the creamy layer. In the present PIL petition, B. Stalin, a lawyer from Ettimangalam near here, has sought a direction to the State government to classify all sub-castes falling under the category of Thevar as Most Backward Classes in order to avail reservations in education and government employment.
His counsel W. Peter Ramesh Kumar relied upon a G.O. passed in September 1995 to claim such a benefit. The G.O. had renamed the Mukkulathor community as Thevar, which included the subdivisions of Agamudaiyar, Maravar and Kallar.
Agamudaiyar is a common name for those belonging to Kottai Patru, Servaikkaran, Raajakulam, Irumbuthalai, Desikar, Malainaadu, Aivali Nattan, Raajaboja, Naattumangalam and Raajavaasal castes. Kallar comprises Ambunattu Kallar, Vazhanattu Kallar, Koothappar Kallar, Periyasuriyur Kallar, Gandarvakottai Kallar, Esanattu Kallar and Piramalai Kallar.
Those belonging to Maravan, Valangai Maran, Vilangu Thevan, Vetchi Karanthai, Thevan, Puli Maran, Gora Maran, Madurai Thevan, Thumbai, Komban, Vallai Thevan, Neela Maran, Pattamkatti, Thalumban, Purayar, Kottravaien Sayon and Alakiya Pandian castes are called Maravar in general.
Refuting the petitioner's claim on the basis of the 1995 G.O., the government filed a counter affidavit on July 5 last and pointed out that the G.O. changed only the nomenclature and did not reclassify the caste groups from BC to MBC as claimed by the petitioner.
The counter filed by a Deputy Secretary of the Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Department also stated that a decision on reclassifying all castes and sub-castes falling under the common nomenclature Thevar could be taken only after the completion of the ongoing caste-based census.
He said even at the time of issuing of the G.O., it was made clear that a decision on reclassification of these castes would be taken only on the basis of recommendations to be made by the TNBCC. The matter was, in fact, referred to the TNBCC headed by a retired High Court judge in 1995 itself. But, “the above issue is still pending in the Commission for want of socio, educational and economic details of those communities. The Commission (in its meeting held on September 8, 2009) has decided to defer the issue till a caste wise survey is conducted in the State.”