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Centre to Supreme Court: Caste Census of Backward Classes Unfeasible

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Aishwarya Rathore-

Published On: September 24,2021 at 16:10 IST

The Centre informed the Supreme Court that the exclusion of any Caste other than Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe from the purview of the Census is a “conscious policy decision” taken by the Central Government.

The Ministry of Social Justice filed an Affidavit in the Supreme Court in response to the Maharashtra Government’s request for a directive to the Census Department to collect information on Backward Class Citizens (BCC) in the 2021 Enumeration.

The Affidavit stated, “While the preparation for the 1951 Census, the first after Independence, was underway, the Government of India had decided on the Policy of official discouragement of Caste.”

The Affidavit further stated, “It was decided that in general, no race/ caste/ tribe enquiries should be made and such enquiries should be restricted to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes notified by the President of India in pursuance of Articles 341 and 342 of the Indian Constitution.”

In terms of feasibility, the Centre stated that the Population Census is not the ideal instrument for collecting details on Caste.

According to the report, the operational difficulties are so many that there is a grave danger that the basic integrity of Census data may be jeopardised, and the fundamental population could itself get distorted.

The Centre pointed out that numerous High Courts, along with the Supreme Court, have already rejected demands for a Caste-Based Census.

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