The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Union of India on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking for inclusion of the enumeration of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the country in the Census to be conducted in 2021.
The plea, filed through Advocate-on-Record Aakriti Jain and drawn by Advocate Sonia Saini, submits that as per the Parliamentary Standing Committee Report, it has been observed that there is a "major limitation on data about the social economic and educational profile of our population in general and about Other Backward Class in particular. The last caste-based census in India was done in 1931".
According to the petitioner Tinku Saini, the last census was conducted in the year 1931 and no census enlisting the exact number of Obc has been carried out till date which is leading to creating miscarriage of social justice and denial of the constitutional mandate of Article 15(4), Article 16(14), Article 243 D and Article 243 T of the Constitution
It is contended that the Committee found that as there no accepted mechanism/criteria to group people into different categories, the existing list of backward caste/communities remained inaccurate.
"The Central Government had declared that the Census to be conducted in the year 2021 would enumerate the Other Backward Class population in the country which would have helped the Other Backward Class population exercise the rights granted to them under the Constitution as well as this exercise would have promoted social justice, but the same would not be conducted as declared by MHA which is contrary to their last year's declaration wherein they said, 'Census 2021 envisages collecting data on OTHER BACKWARD CLASSES for the first time'."
Contending that the caste-wise data available is "old and outdated" and is "acting as a hindrance in attaining social justice and fulfilment of constitutional imperatives", the plea seeks for the enumeration of the same in Census 2021.