'UP government order on SC list is not proper'

Thawar Chand Gehlot

The Centre on Tuesday termed the Uttar Pradesh government's move to include 17 communities belonging to OBCs in the Scheduled Castes (SC) list as inappropriate and said only the Parliament has the right to make changes in the caste lists.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said in the Rajya Sabha after the matter was raised by BSP member Satish Chandra Misra during the Zero Hour, that "The order that they (UP government) have issued now is not appropriate, not in accordance with the Constitution."

"I will request you not to issue caste certificates based on the order, else the matter will go to courts, it will be struck down and nobody will get the benefit," the minister said.

Ahead of 12 Assembly seats bypoll, the Uttar Pradesh government had on June 24 directed district magistrates and commissioners to issue Schedule Caste certificates to 17 OBCs— Kashyap, Rajbhar, Dhivar, Bind, Kumhar, Kahar, Kewat, Nishad, Bihar, Mallah, Prajapati, Dhimar, Batham, Turha, Godia, Manjhi and Machua.

The minister, who is also a leader of the Rajya Sabha, said that shifting of one category to another caste category is the right of the Parliament. If the UP government wants to go ahead with its proposal, it should follow the laid down procedure.

Earlier, raising the matter, Misra said that under Article 341 sub-clause (2) of the Constitution, the power to make changes in the SC list lies only with Parliament.

In 2005, the SP government of Mulayam Singh Yadav passed the first order to include 11 of these castes but the order stayed and the proposal sent to the Centre. Subsequently, the BSP government of Mayawati quashed the notification.

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