Jamiat in top court to seek SC status for Dalit Muslims, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms


Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre to grant Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Muslims for availing reservations in government jobs and admission to educational institutions while admitting to prevalence of casteism in the community despite strict prohibition by Islam.

In an application seeking to be a party in a petition seeking grant of SC status to Dalit Christians, Jamiat said, “Islam, as a religion, is based on the principles of equality among all people as the non-negotiable principle and core doctrine of the faith.”

It clarified that in Islamic core philosophy, the caste system is not acknowledged as the society in which the philosophy developed had no concept of caste. However, it was quick to add that “in our society, the truth of the caste system cannot be denied”.

It said Dalit Muslims were not included in SC category under the 1950 Presidential Order on the assumption that Islam is a caste-less religion. “This argument falls flat as some backward members of the Muslim community are rightly regarded as Other Backward Classes (OBCs) solely on the basis of their caste,” Jamiat said.

It is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and discriminatory to regard Dalits from Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities as SC but deny the same on religious grounds to Muslims, Jamiat said.

It said, “Denial of the SC status to Dalit Muslims deprives them of political, educational and other benefits given to non-Muslim and non-Christian SC persons and this is a calculated historical wrong to restrain the free profession, practice and propagation of religion.”

Quoting the Sachar Committee report, Jamiat said the gap between Muslims and other socio-religious categories has increased and unemployment among Muslim graduates is highest among socio-religious groups.

Citing the National Commission for Minorities 2008 report, Jamiat said among Dalits of different religions, nearly 47% of Dalit Muslims in urban India are below the poverty line, which is a significantly higher than Dalits among Hindus and Christians.The report found out that in rural India, 40% of Dalit Muslims and 30% Dalit Christians are in the BPL category, it said.


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