Prasad, in response to a question from BJP member G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, clarified that those who have adopted Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths would be eligible for contesting from SC reserved seats and getting other reservation benefits. He further elaborated on the aspect of eligibility to fight an election from reserved constituencies.
Prasad added that Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order outlines that no person who professes a religion different from Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste. However, the minister clarified that there was no proposal to bring in any amendment in the Representation of People Act to debar SC/STs converted to either Islam or Christianity from fight polls: parliamentary or Assembly elections.
In 2015, the top court in a ruling had said that once a person ceases to be a Hindu and becomes a Christian, the social and economic disabilities arising because of Hindu religion cease and hence it is no longer necessary to give him protection and for this reason he is deemed not to belong to a Scheduled Caste.
Prasad, in his response, made it clear that there exists a clear distinction between Dalits adopting Islam and Christianity with those choosing to adopt Hinduism.
Competition to file PILs, courts must consider importance
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday appealed courts across the country to consider the gravity of Public Interest litigation (PILs) and entertain those that really cover public welfare.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha while moving the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for passage, he held there is a general tendency among many of people to file PILs after reading newspapers.
"There is a competition in the country to file PILs currently. I have been great supporter of PIL. I filed many PILs like fodder scam and others. But the situation is different today," Prasad said.
Clarifying that "I don't have problem with anyone from filing PILs", he said: "I only appeal to the courts to look into the importance of these PILs before entertaining them. PILs for public interest should be given proper consideration."