NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has sought the government’s response to a PIL seeking enumeration of Dalits and castes bunched under ‘Other Backward Classes’ with regard to their social, educational and financial status in Census 2021 to determine the eligibility of a caste for reservation in government jobs and admissions to educational institutions.
Appearing for petitioner Tinku Saini, advocate Sonia Saini told a bench of CJI S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian that there had been no headcount of the communities falling under the OBC umbrella since implementation of the Mandal Commission’s recommendation for 27% reservation for them in central services and the subsequent extension of the quota to admissions to central educational institutions. Nor was there any data about their social/financial status over these years, she added.
The bench issued notices to the home ministry, the Registrar General and Census Commissioner and the National Commission for Backward Classes and sought their responses to the PIL, which said enumeration of social and financial status of OBCs was essential for implementation of reservation in letter and spirit as envisioned by the Constitution.
“The best way to ascertain their numbers and backwardness is by collecting relevant data through the Census conducted every 10 years,” the petition said.