Thursday, January 7, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Government reply sought on SC status to Dalit converts

Government reply sought on SC status to Dalit converts
Express news service Posted online: Thursday , Jan 07, 2010 at 0226 hrs
New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a reponse from the
government on a plea to grant Scheduled Caste status to Dalit converts
to Christianity, Islam, Zorastrianism and Jainism.
Admitting the petition filed by the All India Christian Federation, a
bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice B S Chauhan issued
notices to the Centre, the Andhra Pradesh government and the National
Commission for Scheduled Castes.

Over two years ago on July 19, 2007, the Supreme Court had asked the
Centre to place its view on according Scheduled Caste status to Dalit
Christians on petitions filed by the Centre for Public Interest
Litigation and advocate D David of Vellore in Tamil Nadu. The bench,
then headed by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, had directed
the then Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, now Solicitor
General, "all information, data and details" within eight weeks.

The present petition has similarly challenged the legality of para 3
of the Constitution Scheduled Castes Order, 1950, which provides Dalit
Hindus with Scheduled Caste status for benefit of reservation. The
petition sought parallel reservation for converted Dalits of all
faiths as those extended to Scheduled Castes following Hinduism,
Buddhism and Sikhism.


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