'Only Centre can conduct caste census,' Supreme Court informed over Bihar caste survey
New Delhi/IBNS: No other body other than the Union Government can conduct a caste census, the Centre informed the Supreme Court in an affidavit on Monday.
The Central Government filed the affidavit as a part of the batch of petitions challenging the Patna High Court verdict upholding the Bihar Caste Survey and asserted its commitment to take all affirmative actions for the upliftment of SCs/STs/SEBCs.
"Only the Central Government, and no other body, can conduct census or any action akin to census," the affidavit said.
The top court is expected to take up these matters for a hearing next week.
"At the outset, it is submitted that the Central Government is committed to take all affirmative actions for upliftment of SCS/STS/SEBCs and OBCS in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of India and the applicable law," the Centre said in its affidavit.
The Centre said that it filed this affidavit in the apex court, only with a view to place the constitutional and legal position for consideration of the judiciary in the matter.
"The Census is a statutory process and is governed by the Census Act, 1948. The Census is covered in the Union List under Entry 69 in the Seventh Schedule. The Central Government has made the Census Act, 1948. The said Act empowers only the Central Government to conduct the census under section 3 of the Census Act, 1948," it said.
The Centre, in its affidavit, said that no other body under the Constitution or otherwise is entitled to conduct the exercise of either Census or any action akin to the census.
The process of caste-based survey started in Bihar on January 7, 2023. The responsibility of conducting the survey in Bihar has been entrusted to the General Administration Department of the government.
The Bihar government is planning to collect data of every family digitally through a Mobile phone app- Bijaga.