January 9, 2020 3:30:01 am
The Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre Wednesday on a plea seeking Scheduled Caste (SC) status for Dalit Christians.
Appearing for the petitioner, National Council of Dalit Christians, advocates Thomas Franklin Caesar and Gowthaman told a bench of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant that change in religion does not change social exclusion, and that there was caste discrimination in Christianity too.
The Chief Justice remarked that the same argument could be raised in the case of the Muslim community as well, and added that the court will therefore have to hear the matter in detail.
The petition wants the court to declare as unconstitutional paragraph (3) of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, which states, “…no person who professes a religion different from Hinduism, Sikhism and Budhism shall be deemed to be a member of a scheduled caste.”
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The plea sought delinking of religion from consideration of Scheduled Caste status, and making the SC category relgion neutral.
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