'If the census can cover SCs and STs, why not OBCs?'

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the assistance of the Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to know whether any census was being done for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) as carried out for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

The apex court referred to the general census, which commenced on April 1, this year but said it was not sure whether any data was being collected for the OBCs.

“Some data is being collected. Is it for some development?,” the Bench said while asking the Solicitor General to apprise it within three weeks whether any census was being done with respect to OBCs.

The court was hearing a plea seeking for a direction for collection of data relating to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the census 2010.

A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan agreed to hear a petition moved by Nagpur based Mahatma Phule Samta Parishad which sought its direction saying such enumeration was needed to comply with requirements of Article 16 of the Constitution in the matters of reservation.

The petition, filed through Kishore Govind Kanhere, contended the census of socially and educationally backward classes/ OBCs be done in the same way as of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) are being covered in every census.

“If the census can cover SCs and STs, why OBCs cannot be covered? No census was done after 1931,” advocate D K Garg contended.

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