Bihar caste-based survey: Centre files affidavit in SC

New Delhi, (UNI) The Central Government filed an affidavit on Monday before the Supreme Court on the batch of petitions challenging the Patna High Court verdict upholding Bihar Caste Survey and asserted its commitment to take all affirmative actions for uplift of SCs/STs/SEBCs.

The Centre told the Apex Court that only the Central Government, and no other body, can conduct census or “any action akin to census”.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Bihar govt’s caste-based survey. The Court is expected to take up these matters for hearing next week.

“At the outset, it is submitted that the Central Government is committed to take all affirmative actions for upliftment of SCS/STS/SEBCs and OBCS in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of India and the applicable law,” the Centre said in its affidavit.

The Centre said that it filed this affidavit in the Apex Court, only with a view to place the constitutional and legal position for consideration of the judiciary in the matter.

“The Census is a statutory process and is governed by the Census Act, 1948. The Census is covered in the Union List under Entry 69 in the Seventh Schedule. The Central Government has made the Census Act, 1948. The said Act empowers only the Central Government to conduct the census under section 3 of the Census Act, 1948,” it said.

The Centre, in its affidavit, said that no other body under the Constitution or otherwise is entitled to conduct the exercise of either Census or any action akin to census.

The process of caste-based survey started in Bihar from January 7, 2023. The responsibility of conducting the survey in Bihar has been entrusted to the General Administration Department of the government. The Bihar government is planning to collect data of every family digitally through a Mobile phone app- Bijaga.

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