Indra Sawhney vs Union Of India & Others -
Indra Sawhney vs Union Of India & Others -


Indra Sawhney vs Union Of India & Others – Indian Kanoon

Case Name – Indra Sawhney vs Union Of India And Others.


Citation: AIR 1993 SC 477, 1992 Supp 2 SCR 454


  1. M Kania,
  2. M Venkatachaliah,
  3. S R Pandian, .
  4. T Ahmadi,
  5. K Singh,
  6. P Sawant,
  7. R Sahai,
  8. B J Reddy

Introduction:   When the topic of reservation is in light, this is one case that necessarily needs to be discussed and mentioned about. This was the case where the concept of creamy layer was formed.

Facts of the case:

  1. In the beginning KAKA KALEKAR’s commission was formed which had submitted the report containing lists of people of backward caste.
  2. But the then government did not accept it and soon in the later elections Mrs.Indira Gandhi came to power.
  3. In the mean time MANDAL commission formed another report about the lists of the backward classes in the country but was not implemented by then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
  4. Only when JANATA party came to power as a part of the political strategy the then PM V.P. Singh issued memorandum of reserving 27% of seats for socially and backward classes.
  5. This led to civil disturbance in the country. Questions were raized on the actions of the government. The BAR association of supreme court filed a writ petition questioning the basis of the memorandum issued by the government.
  6. The case was supposed to be decide by 5 judges but in the mean time due to frequent political changes the then PM P.V. Narshima Rao issued another memorandum making to subsequent changes. Viz- introducing the economic factor while deciding the reservation criterion and increased 10% of reservation totalling upto 37%
  7. Therefore the case was reffered to 9 bench judge in the apex court.



  1. Whether article 16(4) supercedes article 16(1)?
  2. Whether the extent of reservation can exceed 50%?
  3. Whether there are further classifications in the already classified backward class?


Article 16(4) is not an exception, rather is a part of (1). The list is not exhaustive in nature and shall be subject to alteration in different respects along with the need of the society.

In no manner shall the reservation exceed 50% of the criterion. During the reservation policies the creamy layer shall be neccasarily excluded.they are not similar to socially and educationally backward class in 15(4). There lies no reservation in promotions.


Indra Sawhney vs Union Of India & Others -
Indra Sawhney vs Union Of India & Others –
article-16-of-indian-constitution-14-638 a
article-16-of-indian-constitution-14-638 a



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