New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that there is no ban on publishing more details related to the caste census in Bihar. Caste wise census details were published in 1931 during the British rule. Based on that reservation is followed across the country.
After that in 2011 Congress coalition government conducted Socio Economic and Caste Census. A full report of this survey was prepared in 2014. By then there was a change of government and the details were not disclosed.
In this context, the ruling United Janata Dal and Rashtriya Janata Dal coalition government in Bihar launched the Jatiwari census in June 2022.
Eight petitions were filed against this in the Bihar High Court. The High Court dismissed these petitions on August 1. Appeals were filed in the Supreme Court against this. But the Supreme Court refused to grant an interim stay on the caste census.
On 2nd last, Bihar government released the details of caste wise census. Of this, it was revealed that 63.14 percent of the state belonged to backward communities. 15.52% of general category, 19.65% of Dalits and 1.69% of tribals were reported.
Against this backdrop, the case came up for hearing yesterday before a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Patti in the Supreme Court. Speaking on behalf of the petitioners, senior advocate Aparjita Singh said, “Only the central government has the right to conduct the census. He argued that the state governments have no right.
Shyam Diwan, senior advocate for the Bihar government, said, “Census was not conducted on behalf of the Bihar government. He argued that the caste survey was conducted.
The judges, after hearing the arguments of both sides, said: Neither the central government nor the state government can block decisions taken on policy. Publish further details related to caste census in Bihar cannot be barred for now. The name and details of the individual are not disclosed in this survey. Hence the allegation of invasion of privacy of the individual is not acceptable.
It will be inquired only whether the State Government has the right to conduct caste wise census or not. The next hearing in the case is adjourned to January 2024. Bihar government should file a detailed reply by then. Thus the judges ordered.