A decision on reclassifying all castes and sub-castes falling under the common nomenclature ‘Thevar' from Backward Class (BC) to Most Backward Class (MBC) could be taken only after the completion of the ongoing caste-based census, the State government told the Madras High Court Bench here on Monday.

K. Rangasami, Deputy Secretary of the Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Department, made the submission in a counter affidavit filed before Justices P.P.S. Janarthana Raja and M.M. Sundresh, who were seized of a public interest litigation petition filed by a lawyer, B. Stalin, to bring the entire Thevar community into MBC category.

According to the Deputy Secretary, the government passed an order on September 11, 1995 stating that people belonging to Kallar, Maravar and Agamudayar castes, collectively known as Mukkulathor would thereafter be called as Thevar. That G.O. changed only the nomenclature. It did not reclassify the caste groups from BC to MBC as claimed by the petitioner.

Even at the time of issuing of the G.O., it was made clear that a decision on reclassification of these castes would be taken only on the basis of the recommendations of the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes Commission (TNBCC), which was constituted as per the directions of the Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney Vs. Union of India (popularly known as Mandal Commission case) in 1993.

The matter was, in fact, referred to the TNBCC headed by a retired High Court judge in 1995 itself. But “the above issue is still pending in the Commission for want of socio, educational and economic details of those communities. The Commission (in its meeting held on September 8, 2009) has decided to defer the issue till a caste wise survey is conducted in the State,” he said.