No Scheduled Caste status for Buddhist Adi Dravidars: HC

Madras High court

Chennai:

Noting that Buddhism has never

advocated casteism in its ideology and preaching, the Madras High Court dismissed a plea seeking Scheduled Caste status under Buddhism.

A division bench, comprising Justices R Subbiah and

R Pongiappan noted there was no entry of Buddhist Adi Dravidar in the Scheduled Caste list prescribed under the Constitution.

In the absence of a notification listing Buddhist Adi Dravidars as a caste, no community certificate could be issued, the court said in its recent order.

The issue pertains to the order of the Erodedistrict collector in 2017, rejecting a petition by G J Tamilarasu, seeking the community certificate as a Buddhist Adi Dravidar.

Tamilarasu submitted that he was born on December 5, 1970 to Christian parents, who named him Victor Joseph J. For the sake of his education, he obtained a community certificate in 1989, saying he was a Christian Adi Dravidar.

In 2015, he converted to Buddhism and changed his name to G J Tamilarasu and sought a community certificate as Buddhist Adi Dravidar, he said.

Authorities rejected his plea on the ground that he had converted for getting certain benefits.

Following this, he moved the high court and referred to a Government Order of January 2, 2009 by which a scheduled caste certificate could be given by the authorities concerned.

The government contended that the petitioner was born to Christian parents and had professed Christianity till April 2015 and the community falls under the Backward Class community.

They also submitted that there was no such entry as Buddhist Adi Dravidar in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act, 1976 and hence, the petitioner could not be issued with such a certificate.

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