Three-Member Panel to Study Granting SC Status to Religious Converts

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The Center has appointed a commission headed by former CJI KGBalakrishnan to look into the issue of granting Scheduled Caste status to people who claim historical SC membership but have converted to a religion other than those mentioned in presidential decrees .

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Ordinance 1950 (as amended from time to time) provides that no person professing a religion other than Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism shall be considered a member of a scheduled caste.

However, Muslim and Christian groups have often demanded similar status for Dalits who have converted to their religions. The BJP opposed their request.

The three-member team also includes retired IAS officer Dr. Ravinder Kumar Jain and UGC member Professor Sushma Yadav, according to a notification released Thursday by the Ministry of Social Justice and Human Rights. ‘Empowerment.

The panel will consider the issue of granting Scheduled Caste status to new people who claim historical Schedule Caste status, but have converted to a religion other than those mentioned in Presidential Orders issued from time to time under the 341 of the Constitution.

The panel will also consider the implications of the decision if it were to be on existing scheduled castes, in addition to considering changes in customs, traditions and their status of social discrimination and deprivation, after these people converted. to other religions.

The commission will also examine any other related matter that it deems appropriate in consultation with the Center and with its agreement.

KGBalakrishnan is the first Dalit Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was also Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of India. In the notification, the department said the matter is a “fundamental and historically complex sociological and constitutional issue” and a matter of public importance.

“And whereas, given its importance, sensitivity and potential impact, any change to the definition in this regard should be based on detailed and definitive study and thorough consultation with all stakeholders and on no commission under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 (60 of 1952) has so far investigated the matter,” the notification reads.

The headquarters of the commission will be in New Delhi and it will submit its report within two years from the date of the chairman’s assumption of office, the notification said.

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