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Committee formed to address equitable distribution of benefits among SCs

Why is it in the news?

  • The Central government has formed a committee to address the equitable distribution of benefits among Scheduled Castes (SCs) across the country under the leadership of the Cabinet Secretary.

More about the news

  • The committee’s primary goal is to formulate a methodology that ensures fair distribution of benefits and initiatives among more than 1,200 Scheduled Castes nationwide.
  • The committee to focus on addressing the disparity among SCs caused by the dominance of certain relatively forward communities.
  • However, the committee does not have the authority to delve into questions related to reservation policies.
  • The committee’s constitution holds significance in light of the demand for the sub-categorization of SCs, although it cannot directly address reservation-related issues.
  • A 7-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court is set to hear whether states have the power to subcategorize SCs.


Precedents on Subcategorization

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 In the case of E.V. Chinnaiah v State of Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme Court held that state-based subcategorization of SCs is violative of the right to equality and Article 341 of the Constitution.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 State of Punjab v. Davinder Singh (2020) clarified that deciding on the quantum of benefits in the lists of SCs/STs would not amount to “tinkering” and states have the authority to make such decisions.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 In ‘Jarnail Singh v Lachhmi Narain Gupta’ (2018), the SC upheld the concept of “creamy layer” within SCs, particularly in the context of reservation in promotions.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Article 341 grants the President the power to create a list of SC communities for reservation purposes.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Experts argue that Article 16(4) of the Constitution already provides for states to create special laws for any backward classes they perceive as under-represented.

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