SC refuses to stay Bihar Caste Survey; defers hearing till August 18

New Delhi, Aug 14 (UNI) Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the Bihar government’s Caste-based Survey and deferred the hearing of a plea, with a direction to re-list it along with similar petitions filed in the top court on August 18.

A bench of the Supreme Court, hedded by Justice Sanjiv Khanna and also comprising Justice SVN Bhatti, refused to stay the Bihar government’s Caste-based Survey presently going on in the state.

The Top Court passed the order after hearing an appeal filed by an Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) ‘Ek Soch Ek Prayas’ against the decision of the Patna High Court to uphold the Bihar government’s caste-based survey.

The Patna HC had rejeted the batch of pleas challenging the Bihar Government’s decision to conduct a caste-based survey in the State.

The bench comprising Chief Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice Partha Sarthy, had dismissed the batch of petitions challenging the survey.

Various petitions were moved in the Supreme Court challenging the Patna High Court judgement upholding the caste survey ordered by the Bihar Government.

The Top Coirt today directed all the petitions to be listed together this Friday, August 18 and adjourned the hearing.

The Apex Court adjourned the matter and refused to stay the Bihar government’s caste-based survey, after a lawyer coercively persuade the court that the pleas may become infructuous till then since the Bihar government had directed the caste survey to be concluded post- haste after receiving the high court’s approval.

The judge also declined to grant any interim relief as requested by Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the petitioner.

“That will be an indirect stay without hearing other side or application of mind. I don’t want that. On August 18, we will hear you out,” the Supreme Court said.

Terming it “perfectly valid,” the Patna High Court on Tuesday, August 1, had upheld the caste based survey being conducted by the Bihar government.

The petitioner had moved the Supreme Court and pleaded it that the Patna High Court’s verdict should be immediately stayed and as a result of which, a stay on the caste based survey, conducted by the Bihar state government, would be automatically in force.

The Bihar government had already filed a caveat application in the Supreme Court, anticipating that there might be appeal to be filed in the case before the Top court.

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