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Supreme Court: Gond-Govri not a part of Scheduled Tribe

Anushka Mansharamani

On 18th December, the Supreme Court of India held that the Gond-Govri community is not a part of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) and would not be permitted to enjoy the privileges that come under the ST category.

The Apex Court stated that those people who have taken admission to educational institutions or secured any government job through the ST would not be disturbed, but none of them from the Gond-Govri community can further benefit from those benefits.

The Supreme Court overturned the verdict passed by the Bombay High Court previously in 2018 that included the community.

The Maharashtra government itself had appealed against the judgement passed by the Bombay High Court.

The Supreme Court on this had stated that this appeal was filed very late.

A stampede had taken place during the community protest in Nagpur, Maharashtra in 1994 for the inclusion of the Gond-Govri community as a part of the ST group.

The Maharashtra government, after the protests, had classified the Gond-Govri community as ‘Special Backward Classes.’

However, the community’s counsel had contended against this classification, stating that they were only Govri and not Gond-Govri.

The High Court further upheld the stand stating that since post-independence there had been no such sub-tribe as Gond-Govri.

The Supreme Court order passed today clearly stated that the Bombay High Court “should not have gone into such classification.”