The Patna High Court has rejected the Bihar Government’s software seeking preponement of hearing within the plea difficult caste-based survey within the State. It is pertinent to notice that on May 4, the Court stayed the caste-based census being carried out in Bihar with quick impact. Furthermore, the Court posted the matter for hearing on July 3.
The Bihar Government has moved an interim software earlier than the Court stating that its May Four order is interim in nature, nonetheless, it has lastly adjudicated the problems. Therefore, the matter have to be disposed of as no function is served to maintain the case pending.
The Bihar Government stated, “That though the order dated May 4 is seemingly an interim order however it has finally adjudicated the issues under consideration. Hence, the writ petitions have in effect and substance been finally decided. Practically, no issue remains to be adjudicated. Hence it would be in the ends of justice that writ petitions are disposed of as no meaningful purpose would be finally in served in keeping the writ petitions pending,” in its IA software earlier than the Court. However, the Court has stated that there isn’t a urgency within the matter and the pleas will probably be heard on July 3.
Patna High Court stays Caste-Based Census in Bihar
On May 4, the Patna High Court stayed the caste-based census being carried out in Bihar with quick impact. The Court reserved its judgement on a petition difficult and seeking an interim keep on the enumeration of castes and financial survey in Bihar on May 3.
The petitioner’s counsel argued that the ‘caste survey’ is a census in type and content material and identified that the authority to hold out a census is with the Central Government underneath Entry 69 of List I of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. The petitioner’s counsel additionally contended that the Bihar Government doesn’t have the legislative competence.
It was additionally argued that the survey is, in impact, a census geared toward eliciting the caste standing of the people native to the State. The petitioners additionally raised a competition that such a census can be violative of a person’s privateness. The petitioner’s counsel positioned emphasis on two factors; one, the expenditure of Rs.500 Crores and the dissemination of data to all of the political events, as is proclaimed within the notification itself.
The Court famous, “It is the vehement contention of the State that the entire data now collected is available in the public domain; different individuals having given it for the purpose of availing reservation, social welfare measures, getting employment and so on and so forth. If the details are available in the public domain, we fail to understand why such a massive exercise, expending public resources has to be undertaken.”
The Court acknowledged, “We are convinced that the survey, in the manner in which it is carried out, cannot be said to be within the policy realm of the State. Even the defence raised was to source the State’s power to legislate under the Concurrent List; which we have found to be untenable.”
The Court held that prima facie the caste-based ‘survey’ quantities to a census which solely the Government of India has the facility to hold out. The courtroom acknowledged, “On the above reasoning, we find that the caste-based survey is a census in the garb of a survey; the power to carry out which is exclusively on the Union Parliament which has also enacted a Census Act, 1948.”
The Court stated, “We are of the considered opinion that the petitioners have made out a prima facie case against the continuation of the process of caste-based survey, as attempted by the State of Bihar. There is also the question raised of data integrity and security which has to be more elaborately addressed by the State.”
Furthermore, the courtroom held, “Prima facie, we are of the opinion that the State has no power to carry out a caste-based survey, in the manner in which it is fashioned now, which would amount to a census, thus impinging upon the legislative power of the Union Parliament. We also see from the notification issued that the Government intends to share data with the leaders of different parties of the State Assembly, the ruling party and opposition party which is also a matter of great concern. There definitely arises the larger question of right to privacy, which the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held to be a facet of right to life.”
The Court concluded, “In such circumstances, we direct the State Government to immediately stop the caste-based survey and ensure that the data already collected are secured and not shared with anybody till final orders are passed in the writ petition.”