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Justice KG Balakrishna was appointed as the said commission, during the pendency of the instant plea seeking scheduled caste status for Dalit Christian and Muslim converts.
The Supreme Court today dismissed a PIL challenging the Centre’s decision to appoint a three-member commission, headed by former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, to consider the possibility of granting Scheduled Caste status to “new persons who have historically belonged to the Scheduled Castes’’ but have converted to religions other than Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
The plea stated that if the order of setting up the commission is allowed, the hearing on the main petition, which has remained pending for nearly 20 years, may be further delayed causing irreparable damage to the Christians of Scheduled caste origin, who have been denied the privileges for the last 72 years.
The delay is affecting the fundamental rights of the affected community and that giving speedy justice is mandatory as per Article 21, the petition added.
Today during the hearing, the bench comprising of Justices SK Kaul and AS Oka, asked the counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner, “Who are you? The matter is already being heard.”
Justice Kaul further questioned that if the Government in its wisdom has appointed a commission, under which law was the petitioner allowed to challenge it.
“The apprehension of the petitioner is that if the present commission is allowed, the hearing on the main petition may be further delayed causing irreparable damage to the Christians of Scheduled caste origin, who are denied this SC privileges for the last 72 years. It is also affecting the fundamental rights of the affected community, giving speedy justice is mandatory as per Article 21,” the plea states.
Case Title: Pratap Baburao Pandit vs. UoI
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