NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear on January 20 a plea against the Bihar government's decision to conduct a caste census in the state.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha posted the matter for hearing after advocate Barun Kumar Sinha appearing for the petitioner mentioned the matter. The apex court noted that a similar matter had been posted for hearing on January 20.
The top court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to restrain the authorities from conducting the caste survey in the state. The petitioner, Akhilesh Kumar, has sought quashing of the notification dated June 6, 2022 issued by the Bihar government to conduct a caste survey in the state.
The plea contended that the subject of the census falls in List 1 of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution and only the Centre has the power to hold the exercise.
The PIL has alleged that the notification violated Article 14 of the Constitution which provides for equality before law and equal protection under the law, adding that the notification was illegal, arbitrary, irrational, and unconstitutional.
''If the proclaimed purpose of the caste-based survey is to accommodate the people of State suffering caste persecution, the distinction on the basis of caste and country of origin is irrational and unjustified.
''None of these distinctions correspond with the ostensible purpose of the law,'' the petition said.