SC admits plea to make Scheduled Caste religion-neutral

SC admits plea to make Scheduled Caste religion-neutral

The plea said that change in religion does not change social exclusion and caste hierarchy continues to hold fort within Christianity even though the religion forbids it. Credit: PTI File Photo

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre on a fresh plea for making the Scheduled Castes community religion-neutral to enable Christians with the origin from the oppressed class to avail special privileges in education and employment.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant admitted a plea by the National Council of Dalit Christians (NCDC) for consideration, and sought a response from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Minorities and Registrar General of India.

The court tagged the plea, along with a similar matter pending since 2004.

The plea, filed through advocate Franklin Caesar Thomas, contended that a Scheduled Caste person professing a religion different from Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism cannot be deprived of the benefit of Paragraph 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950.

The plea said that change in religion does not change social exclusion and caste hierarchy continues to hold fort within Christianity even though the religion forbids it.

It said that the restriction was against the fundamental right to equality, religious freedom and non-discrimination.

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