advocatemmmohan

My photo

ADVOCATEMMMOHAN -  Practicing both IN CIVIL, CRIMINAL AND FAMILY LAWS,Etc.,

WELCOME TO LEGAL WORLD

WELCOME TO MY LEGAL WORLD - FOR KNOWLEDGE IN LAW & FOR LEGAL OPINIONS - SHARE THIS

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Constitution of India 1950, Articles 14 to 17 and 341 & Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950, Para 3. Persons belonging to Schedule Caste - Conversion to Christianity Disentitlement to benefit of constitutional provisions relating to Schedule Castes - Whether legal, valid and constitutional.= PETITIONER: SOOSAI ETC. Vs. RESPONDENT: UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS = published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=9179

ACT:
     Constitution of India 1950, Articles 14 to 17 and 341 &
Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950, Para 3.
     Persons belonging to Schedule  Caste -  Conversion  to
Christianity Disentitlement  to  benefit  of  constitutional
provisions relating  to Schedule  Castes  -  Whether  legal,
valid and constitutional.



HEADNOTE:
     The Government  of  India set  up  a  special  Central
Assistance Scheme  for the  welfare  of  Scheduled  Castes.
Consequent to  a proposal  under this  Scheme, allotment  of
bunk free  of Cost were to be made to cobblers by profession
who worked on the roadside, by the State Government of Tamil
Nadu in  pursuance to G.O. No. 580 Social Welfare Department
dated February 13, 1982. This Order specifically stated that
persons belonging  to the  Scheduled Castes and converted to
Christianity were  not eligible  for  assistance  under  the
scheme.
     The petitioner,  who was  a Hindu belonging to the Adi-
Dravida caste and on conversion to Christianity continued as
a member  of that  caste,-contended in his writ petition to
this court  that he  had been  denied  the  benefit  of  the
welfare assistance  intended for  Scheduled  Castes  on  the
ground that  he professes  the Christian  religion, and that
such  discrimination  had  been  affected  pursuant  to  the
provision contained  in  paragraph  3  of  the Constitution
(Scheduled Castes)  Order, 1950  and that  the provision was
constitutionally invalid  as being  violative of Articles 14
to 17.
     In the  connected writ  petition,  relief  was  sought
against the  Circular letter dated August 16/25, 1983 issued
by the State Government  of Tamilnadu to the State Public
Service Commission stating that "Scheduled Caste" Christians
who revert to Hinduism and on that basis obtain appointments
to reserved  seats in Government services and having done so
change their religion once
243
again after  their entry into Government service were liable
to have their selection cancelled, as being constitutionally
invalid and violative of Articles 14 to 17.
     On the  question: whether the Constitution  (Scheduled
Castes) Order, 1950  is  constitutionally  invalid  on  the
ground that  only  Hindu  or  Sikh  members  of  the  castes
enumerated in  the Schedule  to that  Order are deemed to be
Scheduled Castes  for the  purpose of  the  Constitution  of
India.
     Dismissing the writ petitions,
^
     HELD: 1.  It is  not possible to say that the President
acted arbitrarily in the  exercise  of  his judgment  in
enacting paragraph  3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes)
Order, 1950. [250 F]
     2.Dr. J.H.  Hutton, a  Census  Commissioner  of  India,
framed a  list of  the depressed  classes and  that list was
made the  basis of  an order  promulgated  by the  British
Government  in  India called  the  Government   of  India
(Scheduled Castes)  Order, 1936. The Constitution (Scheduled
Castes) Order, 1950 was substantially modelled on the Order
of 1936.  The Order  of 1936 enumerated several castes races
or  tribes  in an  attached  schedule and  they  were,  by
paragraph 2  of the  Order, deemed  to be  Scheduled Castes.
Paragraph 3  of the  same Order  declared  that  the  Indian
Christians  would  not be  deemed  to be  members  of  the
Scheduled Castes. [249 C-D]
     3. The  President had  before him material  indicating
that the  depressed  classes  of  the  Hindu  and  the Sikh
Communities suffered  from economic  and social disabilities
and  cultural  and  educational  backwardness  so  gross  in
character and degree that the members of these Castes in the
two  communities   called  for  the   protection   of  the
Constitutional provisions  relating to the Scheduled Castes,
and that  in order  to provide for their  amelioration  and
advancement it was necessary to conceive of intervention by
the State through its legislative and executive powers. [249
H; 250 B]
     4.(i) In  discharge of the obligation imposed by clause
(1) of Article 341  the President  issued the Constitution
(Scheduled  Castes)  Order,  1950.  In its  original  form,
paragraph 3  declared that  (1) no  person who professes  a
religion different  from Hinduism  would be  deemed to be a
member of  a  Scheduled  Caste.  There  was  a  proviso  to
paragraph 3  which  declared  that  every    member  of  the
Ramdasi, Kabirpanthi, Mazhabi or Sikligar caste
244
resident in  Punjab or the Patiala  and East  Punjab States
Union would  in relation  to that  State be  deemed to be a
member of  the Scheduled  Castes whether  he  professed  the
Hindu  religion   or  the   Sikh   religion.   Subsequently,
Parliament enacted the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
Orders (Amendment)  Act,  1956 which  substituted  for  the
original paragraph 3 the present paragraph 3, which declared
:-
  "3. Notwithstanding    anything   contained   in
  paragraph 2,no  person who  professes  a  religion
  different from  the Hindu  or  the  Sikh  religion
  shall be  deemed to  be a  member of a  Scheduled
  Caste." [247 F; 248A]
     (ii)  For  the  purposes  of  the   Constitution  the
constitutional     provisions relating  to Scheduled Castes
are intended  to be  applied to  only those  members of  the
castes enumerated  in the  Constitution  (Scheduled  Castes)
Order, 1950 who profess the Hindu or the Sikh religion. If a
Christian belongs  to one  of those  castes, he is barred by
reason of  paragraph 3, from being regarded as a member of a
Scheduled Caste  and is,  therefore,  not  entitled  to  the
benefit  of   the  constitutional   provisions relating  to
Scheduled Castes. [248 B-Cl
     5. The  declaration incorporated  in paragraph  3 was a
declaration made  for the  purposes of the Constitution. It
was a  declaration enjoined  by clause (1) of Article 341 of
the Constitution.  To establish  that  paragraph  3  of  the
Constitution (Scheduled  Castes) Order,  1950  discriminates
against Christian  members of  the enumerated castes it must
be shown  that they suffer from a comparable depth of social
and  economic  disabilities  and  cultural  and  educational
backwardness and  similar levels  of degradation  within the
Christian community  necessitating intervention by the State
under provisions  of the  Constitution. It is not sufficient
to show  that the  same caste continues after conversion. It
is necessary  to establish further that the disabilities and
handicaps suffered  from such caste membership in the social
order of  its origin - Hinduism continue in their oppressive
severity in  the new  environment of  a different  religious
community. No  authoritative or  detailed study dealing with
the present conditions of Christian society have been placed
on the record in this case. [250 B-E]



PETITIONER:
SOOSAI ETC.

Vs.

RESPONDENT:
UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS

DATE OF JUDGMENT30/09/1985

BENCH:
PATHAK, R.S.
BENCH:
PATHAK, R.S.
BHAGWATI, P.N. (CJ)
SEN, AMARENDRA NATH (J)

CITATION:
 1986 AIR  733  1985 SCR  Supl. (3) 242
 1985 SCC  Supl.  590  1985 SCALE  (2)773


ACT:
     Constitution of India 1950, Articles 14 to 17 and 341 &
Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950, Para 3.
     Persons belonging to Schedule  Caste -  Conversion  to
Christianity Disentitlement  to benefit  of  constitutional
provisions relating  to Schedule  Castes  -  Whether  legal,
valid and constitutional.



HEADNOTE:
     The Government  of India set  up a  special  Central
Assistance Scheme  for the  welfare  of  Scheduled  Castes.
Consequent to  a proposal  under this  Scheme, allotment  of
bunk free  of Cost were to be made to cobblers by profession
who worked on the roadside, by the State Government of Tamil
Nadu in pursuance to G.O. No. 580 Social Welfare Department
dated February 13, 1982. This Order specifically stated that
persons belonging  to the  Scheduled Castes and converted to
Christianity were  not eligible for  assistance  under the
scheme.
     The petitioner,  who was  a Hindu belonging to the Adi-
Dravida caste and on conversion to Christianity continued as
a member  of that  caste,-contended in his writ petition to
this court  that he  had been  denied  the  benefit  of the
welfare assistance  intended for  Scheduled  Castes  on the
ground that  he professes  the Christian  religion, and that
such  discrimination  had  been affected  pursuant  to the
provision contained  in paragraph  3  of  the Constitution
(Scheduled Castes)  Order, 1950 and that  the provision was
constitutionally invalid  as being  violative of Articles 14
to 17.
     In the  connected writ  petition, relief was  sought
against the  Circular letter dated August 16/25, 1983 issued
by the State Government  of Tamilnadu to the State Public
Service Commission stating that "Scheduled Caste" Christians
who revert to Hinduism and on that basis obtain appointments
to reserved  seats in Government services and having done so
change their religion once
243
again after  their entry into Government service were liable
to have their selection cancelled, as being constitutionally
invalid and violative of Articles 14 to 17.
     On the  question: whether the Constitution  (Scheduled
Castes) Order, 1950  is  constitutionally  invalid  on the
ground that  only  Hindu  or  Sikh  members  of the  castes
enumerated in  the Schedule  to that  Order are deemed to be
Scheduled Castes  for the  purpose of  the  Constitution  of
India.
     Dismissing the writ petitions,
^
     HELD: 1.  It is  not possible to say that the President
acted arbitrarily in the  exercise  of  his judgment  in
enacting paragraph  3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes)
Order, 1950. [250 F]
     2.Dr. J.H. Hutton, a  Census  Commissioner  of  India,
framed a  list of  the depressed  classes and  that list was
made the  basis of  an order  promulgated  by the  British
Government  in India called the  Government   of  India
(Scheduled Castes)  Order, 1936. The Constitution (Scheduled
Castes) Order, 1950 was substantially modelled on the Order
of 1936.  The Order  of 1936 enumerated several castes races
or  tribes  in an  attached  schedule and  they  were,  by
paragraph 2  of the  Order, deemed  to be  Scheduled Castes.
Paragraph 3  of the  same Order declared  that the  Indian
Christians  would  not be  deemed  to be  members  of the
Scheduled Castes. [249 C-D]
     3. The  President had  before him material  indicating
that the  depressed  classes  of  the  Hindu  and  the Sikh
Communities suffered  from economic  and social disabilities
and  cultural  and  educational backwardness  so  gross  in
character and degree that the members of these Castes in the
two  communities   called  for the   protection   of the
Constitutional provisions  relating to the Scheduled Castes,
and that  in order  to provide for their  amelioration and
advancement it was necessary to conceive of intervention by
the State through its legislative and executive powers. [249
H; 250 B]
     4.(i) In  discharge of the obligation imposed by clause
(1) of Article 341  the President  issued the Constitution
(Scheduled  Castes)  Order,  1950.  In its  original  form,
paragraph 3  declared that  (1) no  person who professes  a
religion different  from Hinduism  would be  deemed to be a
member of  a  Scheduled  Caste.  There was  a proviso  to
paragraph 3  which  declared  that  every    member  of the
Ramdasi, Kabirpanthi, Mazhabi or Sikligar caste
244
resident in  Punjab or the Patiala  and East  Punjab States
Union would  in relation  to that  State be  deemed to be a
member of  the Scheduled  Castes whether  he  professed the
Hindu  religion  or  the   Sikh   religion.   Subsequently,
Parliament enacted the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
Orders (Amendment)  Act,  1956 which  substituted  for the
original paragraph 3 the present paragraph 3, which declared
:-
 "3. Notwithstanding   anything   contained  in
 paragraph 2,no  person who  professes a  religion
 different from  the Hindu  or the  Sikh  religion
 shall be  deemed to  be a  member of a  Scheduled
 Caste." [247 F; 248A]
     (ii)  For the  purposes of  the   Constitution the
constitutional    provisions relating to Scheduled Castes
are intended  to be  applied to only those  members of the
castes enumerated  in the  Constitution (Scheduled  Castes)
Order, 1950 who profess the Hindu or the Sikh religion. If a
Christian belongs  to one  of those  castes, he is barred by
reason of  paragraph 3, from being regarded as a member of a
Scheduled Caste and is,  therefore,  not  entitled  to the
benefit of   the  constitutional   provisions relating  to
Scheduled Castes. [248 B-Cl
     5. The  declaration incorporated  in paragraph  3 was a
declaration made  for the  purposes of the Constitution. It
was a  declaration enjoined  by clause (1) of Article 341 of
the Constitution.  To establish that  paragraph  3  of the
Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950  discriminates
against Christian  members of  the enumerated castes it must
be shown  that they suffer from a comparable depth of social
and  economic  disabilities  and  cultural  and educational
backwardness and  similar levels  of degradation  within the
Christian community  necessitating intervention by the State
under provisions  of the  Constitution. It is not sufficient
to show that the  same caste continues after conversion. It
is necessary  to establish further that the disabilities and
handicaps suffered  from such caste membership in the social
order of  its origin - Hinduism continue in their oppressive
severity in  the new  environment of  a different  religious
community. No  authoritative or detailed study dealing with
the present conditions of Christian society have been placed
on the record in this case. [250 B-E]



JUDGMENT:
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION  : Writ  Petition No.  9596 of  1983 &
1017 of 1984.
      (Under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.)
245
     F.S. Nariman,  U.S. Prasad,  Jose Verghese, N.P. Midha,
V.A. A Bobde and L.R. Singh for the Petitioners.
     Govind Das,  M.M. Abdul Khadar, R. Thiyagarajan, Ms. A.
Subhashini and A.V. Rangam for the Respondents.
     The Judgment of the Court was delivered by B
     PATHAK, J. This and the connected writ petitions raise
the important  question whether the Constitution (Scheduled
Castes) Order, 1950  is  constitutionally  invalid  on the
ground that  only  Hindu  or  Sikh  members  of the  castes
enumerated in  the Schedule  to that  Order are deemed to be
Scheduled Castes  for the  purposes of the Constitution  of
India.
     The petitioner  Soosai (in Writ Petition No. 9596  of
1983) states  that he  belongs to  the Adi-Dravida Community
and is a convert  to  Christianity.  He  is  a cobbler  by
profession and works on  the roadside at one of the cross-
roads in  Madras. In  May, 1982,  the officers of the Tamil
Nadu Khadi  and Village Industries Board surveyed the sites
on which cobblers were working, including the place occupied
by the petitioner, and subsequently on July 27, 1982 several
cobblers were  allotted bunks  free of cost by the Regional
Deputy Director,  Khadi and  Village Industries Board. The
petitioner was not. On enquiry the E petitioner came to know
that the allotment of bunks free of cost was consequent to a
proposal under the Special Central Assistance Scheme of the
Government of India for the welfare of Scheduled Castes. The
funds for the purpose were provided from the Special Central
Assistance of  the Government  of India set up for  giving
effect to  schemes exclusively intended for Scheduled Castes
under  G.O.Ms. No.  580  Social  Welfare  Department  dated
February 13,  1982.  It is  pointed  out  that this  Order
specifically states  that persons belonging to the Scheduled
Castes and  converted to  Christianity are  not eligible for
assistance under  the scheme. The petitioner points out that
the  said  Order  has  been  made  in  consonance  with the
Constitution   (Scheduled   Castes)   Order,   1950,   which
specifically  declares that  no  person  who professes  a
religion different from the Hindu or the Sikh religion shall
be  deemed  to be  a  member  of  a  Scheduled Caste. The
petitioner assails  the validity of that Order on the ground
that it violates Articles 14, 15 and 25 of the Constitution.
     The essence  of the  petitioner's case is that he was a
Hindu belonging to the Adi-Dravida caste and on conversion
to Christianity he continues as a member of that caste. The
246
Adi-Dravida caste  is one  of the  castes enumerated  in the
Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950.
The petitioner alleges that  he has been denied the benefit
of welfare  assistance intended for Scheduled Castes on the
ground only that he professes the Christian religion, and he
contends that  inasmuch as  such  discrimination  has been
effected pursuant  to the provision contained in paragraph 3
of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, that
provision  is constitutionally  invalid.   The  petitioner
invokes Article 14, which  is the  central provision in the
Constitution guaranteeing  the right  to equality before the
law and the equal protection of the laws, and clause (1) of
Article 15,  which prohibits  the State from discriminating
against any  citizen on the ground  only, among  others, of
religion. It is
 pointed  out that when clause (4) of Article 15 permits the
State, notwithstanding the prohibition contained in clause
(1)  of Article  15  to  make special provision  for the
advancement of socially and  educationally backward classes
of citizens  and for  the  Scheduled  Castes  and  Scheduled
Tribes, it   envisages such special provision  for the
advancement of all members  of such  backward classes  of
citizens, Scheduled  Castes and Scheduled  Tribes.  If any
discrimination is   exercised between the  members  of  a
Scheduled Caste on the ground of  religion only  so as  to
promote the  welfare of one group of members and deny it to
the others  the denial will be invalid. Reference has also
been made to  Article
 25  on the  ground that a Christian convert will be tempted
to re-convert  to Hinduism  or Sikhism in order  to benefit
from the  constitutional provisions  relating  to  Scheduled
Castes and therefore paragraph 3 in its operation denies him
freedom of  conscience and  the right freely to  profess,
practice and propagate his religion.
     The framers  of the  Constitution have taken great care
to ensure that sufficient provision is made for ameliorating
the conditions of certain  backward classes  found in India
who suffer from social and economic disabilities. Article 46
enjoins upon  the State,  as a Directive Principle of State
policy, to  promote with  special care the educational and
economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and
in particular  of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,
and to protect them  from social injustice and all forms of
exploitation. In consonance with this objective they enacted
a number  of provisions in the Constitution, of which clause
(4) of Article 15  is one.  Besides, although clause (1) of
Article 16   guarantees  equality  of opportunity  to all
citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to
any office under the State, there is clause (4) of
247
Article 16 which lays down that nothing in Article 16 will A
prevent the   State  from  making  any provision  for the
reservation of appointments  or  posts in  favour  of any
backward class of citizens  which, in the opinion  of the
State, is  not adequately  represented in the services under
the State. Article 17 abolishes "Untouchability" and forbids
its practice  in any form, and declares that the enforcement
of any disability arising out Of "Untouchability" will be an
offence punishable  in accordance  with law. There are other
provisions, such  as Article  330  which  provides  for the
reservation  of seats in  the House of  the People for
Scheduled Castes  and Scheduled Tribes and Article 332 which
makes similar  provision for  the reservation  of seats for
them in the State  Legislative Assemblies  We are concerned
here with  the advantages  and benefits  envisaged  by the
Constitution in respect of members of the Scheduled Castes.
     The expression Scheduled Castes is defined in clause 24
of Article 366 to mean such castes, races or tribes or parts
of or  groups within  such castes,  races or  tribes as are
deemed under  Article 341  to be  Scheduled Castes  for the
purpose of  this Constitution  . Clause (1) of Article 341
enjoins upon the President to specify by public notification
the castes,  races or  tribes or  parts of  or groups within
castes, races  or tribes,  which for  the  purposes  of the
Constitution are  deemed to  be Scheduled Castes in relation
to a  State or Union territory.  Once such  notification is
issued by   the  President  it cannot be  varied  by any
subsequent notification except that, by virtue of clause (2)
of Article  341, Parliament may by law include in or exclude
from  the   list  of   Scheduled  Castes  specified  in the
notification issued  under clause  (1) any  caste,  race  or
tribe or  part of or group within  any caste, race or tribe.
In discharge  of the  obligation imposed  by clause  (1)  of
Article 341 the President issued the Constitution (Scheduled
Castes) Order, 1950. In  its  original form, paragraph  3
declared  that ....no person who  professes a  religion
different from Hinduism- would be deemed to be 2 member of z
Scheduled Caste.  There was  a proviso to paragraph 3 which
declared that  every member  of the  Ramdasi, Kabirpanthi,
Mazhabi or  Sikligar caste resident in Punjab or the Patiala
and East Punjab States Union would in relation to that State
be deemed  to be  member of the Scheduled Castes whether the
professed  the Hindu religion   or  the   Sikh  religion.
Subsequently Parliament enacted the  Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled  tribes   orders  (Amendment)  Act, 1956   which
substituted  for  the  original paragraph  3  that  present
paragraph, which declares:-
248
 "3. Notwithstanding   anything   contained  in
 paragraph 2, no person  who professes  a religion
 different from  the Hindu  or the  Sikh  religion
 shall be  deemed to  be a  member of a  Scheduled
 Caste.
It is  apparent that for the purpose of the Constitution the
constitutional provisions  relating to Scheduled Castes are
intended to  be applied to only those members of the castes
enumerated in  the Constitution (Scheduled  Castes)  Order,
1950 who profess the Hindu or the Sikh religion. Clearly, if
it can be contemplated that a Christian belongs to one of
those castes,  he is  barred by reason of paragraph 3, from
being regarded as a  member of a Scheduled  Caste and is,
therefore, not entitled to the benefit of the constitutional
provisions relating to Scheduled Castes.
     The main  question debated before us is whether a Hindu
belonging  to a  Scheduled  Caste  retains  his  caste  on
conversion to  Christianity. Cases decided by this Court and
by the High Courts  bearing on the point have been cited on
both sides  of the  line, and our attention has been invited
to text books, commentaries and Commission Reports, some of
which contain  the observation that  depressed groups and
castes are  to be  found not only among Hindus and Sikhs but
also  among   Muslims  and  Christians. It  appears  to  us
unnecessary in this case to enter upon that question and to
decide whether a Hindu belonging to  the Adi-Dravida caste
continues to  be a member of that caste on his conversion to
the Christian religion. We shall assume, for the purposes of
this case, that the caste is retained on conversion from one
religion to  the. Other. The real question is whether on the
material before us it can be said that  in confining the
declaration to members of the Hindus and the Sikh religions,
paragraph 3  of the  Constitution (Scheduled  Castes) Order,
1950  discriminates   against  members of  the   Christian
religion.
     Now it  cannot be disputed that  the caste system is a
feature of  the Hindu  social  structure.  It  is  a  social
phenomenon peculiar  to Hindu  society. The  division of the
Hindu social  order by reference at one time to professional
or vocational  occupation  was moulded into  a  structural
hierarchy which over  the  centuries  crystallized  into  a
stratification where the  place  of the  individual was
determined by  birth. Those  who occupied the lowest rung of
the social  ladder  were  treated  as  existing beyond the
periphery of  civilised society,  and were  indeed not even
"touchable". This social attitude committed those castes to
249
severe social  and economic  disabilities and cultural and A
educational backwardness. And through most of Indian history
the oppressive nature of  the caste structure has denied to
those  disadvantaged   castes  the   fundamentals  of  human
dignity, human self respect and even some of the attributes
of the human  personality.  Both  history  and latter day
practice in  Hindu society  are heavy  with evidence of this
oppressive tyranny,  and B  despite the efforts of  several
noted  social  reformers,  specially  during  the  last two
centuries, there has been a crying need for the emancipation
of the depressed classes  from the  degrading conditions of
their social  and economic  servitude. Dr.  J.H.  Hutton,  a
Census Commissioner of India, framed a list of the depressed
classes systematically, and that list was made the basis of
an order  promulgated by  the British  Government  in  India
called the  Government of  India (Scheduled  Castes)  Order,
1936. The  Constitution (Scheduled  Castes) Order,  1950  is
substantially modelled on the Order of  1936. The Order of
1936 enumerated several  castes,  races  or  tribes  in  an
attached Schedule  and they  were, by  paragraph  2  of the
Order, deemed  to be  Scheduled Castes. Paragraph 3  of the
same order  declared that the Indian Christians would not be
deemed to  be members  of the  Scheduled Castes.  During the
framing of   the  Constitution,  the  Constituent  Assembly
recognised that the Scheduled Castes were a backward section
of the Hindu community who were handicapped by the practice
of  untouchability   , and   that  this  evil practice  of
untouchability was  not recognised by any other religion and
the question  of any Scheduled Caste belonging to a religion
other than  Hinduism did  not therefore arise B. Shiva Rao:
The Framing  of India's Constitution: A  Study p. 771). The
Sikhs  however,  demanded  that   some of  their  backward
sections,  the Mazhabis,   Ramdasias,  Kabirpanthis and
Sikligars, should  be included in  the list  of  Scheduled
Castes. The  demand was accepted on  the basis that  these
sects were  originally Scheduled  Caste Hindus who had only
recently been  converted to the Sikh faith and "had the same
disabilities as the Hindu  Scheduled Castes (Supra p. 771).
The depressed  classes within  the fold of Hindu society and
the four  classes of  the Sikh community were therefore made
the subject  of the original Constitution (Scheduled Castes)
Order, 1950. Subsequently  in   1956  the Constitution
(Scheduled Castes  ) Order,  1950 was  amended and  it was
broadened to include all Sikh untouchables.
     It is  quite evident  that the President had before him
all this  material indicating  that the depressed classes of
the Hindu  and the  Sikh communities  suffered from economic
and social H
250
disabilities and  cultural and educational backwardness  so
gross A in character  and degree  that the members of those
castes in  the two  communities called for the protection of
the Constitutional  provisions relating  to  the  Scheduled
Castes. It  was evident that in  order to provide for their
amelioration and advancement it was necessary to conceive of
intervention  by  the  State  through  its  legislative and
executive powers. It must be remembered that the declaration
incorporated in paragraph 3  deeming them  to be members of
the Scheduled Castes was a declaration made for the purposes
of the Constitution. It was a declaration enjoined by clause
(1) of Article 341  of the  Constitution. To establish that
paragraph 3  of the  Constitution (Scheduled  Castes) Order,
1950  discriminates   against  Christian   members  of the
enumerated castes  it must  be shown that they suffer from a
comparable depth  of social  and economic  disabilities and
cultural and  educational backwardness and similar levels of
degradation within  the Christian  community  necessitating
intervention by the  State  under  the provisions  of the
Constitution. It  is not  sufficient to show that  the same
caste  continues   after  conversion.  It  is  necessary  to
establish  further   that  the disabilities  and  handicaps
suffered from  such caste  membership in the social order of
its origin  Hinduism - continue in their oppressive severity
in the new environment of a different religions community.
References have been made  in the material before us in the
most cursory  manner to the character and incidents of the
castes within  the Christian  fold, but no authoritative and
detailed  study dealing  with the  present  conditions  of
Christian society  have been  placed on the record  in this
case. It  is,  therefore,  not possible  to  say  that the
president acted arbitrarily in the exercise of his judgment
in enacting  paragraph 3  of  the  Constitution  (Scheduled
Castes) order, 1950. It is now well established that when a
violation of  Article 14 or any of its related provisions is
alleged, the  burden rests on the petitioner to establish by
clear and congent evidence that the State has been guilty of
arbitrary discrimination.  Having regard to the State of the
record before  us, we are unable to hold that the petitioner
has established his case.  The challenge  must,  therefore,
fail.
     In the  connected writ  petition No.  1017 of  1984 the
submissions  have   proceeded  substantially   on  the same
grounds, and  relief has  been sought additionally against a
Circular Letter No. 21711/ADWII/80-26 dated August  16/25,
1983 issued  by the  Government of  Tamil Nadu to the Tamil
Nadu Public Service Commission stating that "Scheduled Caste
Christians who revert to  Hinduism and on that basis obtain
appointments to reserved
251
seats in  Government services, and having  done  80  change
their religion once again after their entry into Government
service are liable to have their selection cancelled. On the
considerations which  have prevailed  with us  in dismissing
the earlier  writ petition,  this writ petition must also be
dismissed.
     The writ  petitions are dismissed but without any order
as to costs.
N.V.K. Petitions dismissed.
252



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.