Bihar govt willing to take all legislative and statutory steps to complete caste survey: key Nitish aide

Bihar govt willing to take all legislative and statutory steps to complete caste survey: key Nitish aide

Last Updated on May 13, 2023, 1:26 pm by News Desk

Patna, May 13 (PTI) A key aide of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said the government is “willing to take all legislative and statutory steps” to carry forward the survey of castes which has been stalled by the Patna High Court.

Bihar Finance and Parliamentary Affairs minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said the government has moved the Supreme Court to seek clarity on a number of issues that have arisen from the Patna High Court’s interim order passed earlier this month.

“The High Court has admonished the government for not passing a legislation, prior to carrying out the survey, though resolutions in favour of a caste census had been passed unanimously by both Houses of the legislature. But, in the same breath, it has also ruled that the state government had no power to pass such a legislation”, Chaudhary pointed out.

He said “there seems to be, thus, a contradiction in the court’s observations. We wanted to get the doubts cleared expeditiously by requesting an early hearing in the matter which has been deferred till July. The High Court did not agree, so we have now approached the Apex Court”.

Another point on which Chaudhary saw a contradiction in the High Court’s order was that information collated as part of the survey could violate the citizens’ “right to privacy”.

“The High Court has clearly said that the state government, as part of the exercise, is collecting the same type of information as the census conducted by the Union government. If the census does not violate the privacy of citizens, how could our survey”, asked the minister.

He was also asked whether the government was considering taking the legislative route to carry forward the ambitious survey, which it ordered after the Centre turned down the request to enumerate castes other than SCs, STs and minorities as part of the census.

“We are willing to take all legislative and statutory steps. We have made a commitment to the people for carrying out the survey. Without it we cannot get an exact idea of the socio-economic status of different social groups”, Chaudhary added. (SOURCE: PTI)

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