SC notice to govt on quota to Dalit converts


The PIL, filed by All India Christian Federation, sought reservation for converted Dalits of all faiths on the same footing as extended to Scheduled Castes following Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice B S Chauhan issued a notice to the Ministry of Social Justice and Ministry of Minority Affairs for its response on the implementation of the recommendation of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) headed by former Chief Justice of India Rangnath Misra.
Senior advocate K K Venugopal and D Vidyanandam submitted the recent statement by Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid that the report of NCRLM was not made public and there was a difference between the manifesto of the Congress and the recommendation by the commission was an attempt to defeat the claims of converts.

Venugopal said the Centre had referred the NCRLM report to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes which also supported the reported recommendation for 15 per cent (10 per cent for Muslims and 5 per cent for others) reservation without disturbing the 50 per cent ceiling set by the Supreme Court. The Centre had in January 2008 told the apex court that it would study the report of Misra commission which examined the issue of granting Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Christians for extending benefits of reservation.
The NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), had filed the PIL contending that there was no reason to deprive Dalit Christians of reservation which was available to SCs following Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

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