In the case named, State of Maharashtra vs UOI, in which Maharashtra government had asked about the census data of 2011 of OBC, Centre urged before the hon’ble court not to entertain such plea citing the reason that census report was“administratively difficult” and “will suffer both on account of completeness and accuracy.
The central government talked about the notification which was released on January 7, 2020, prescribing the data to be included in the upcoming 2021 census relating to SC and ST but it was not related to OBC.
The reason that is being cited for the exclusion of OBC was that the upcoming census is a “conscious policy decision” which is taken by the government.
The central government pleaded before the court and submitted not to give such direction to Census Department to include socio-economic data related to the Backward Class community of rural India in the census for “since it would tantamount to interfering with a policy decision as framed under Section 8 of the SC-ST Act.”
Maharashtra government decided to conduct a census by Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes (MSCBC) throughout the state based on socio-economic data and this is the reason why it has invoked the extraordinary jurisdiction of the Supreme court.
The state government has approached the top court as collecting the data across the state would be a tedious task so government seek information from the central government from the census 2011.
Central Government further stated there is no mandate provision for collecting the data on BCC unlike SC and STs “there is no such constitutional mandate for the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India to provide the census figures of OBCs/BCCs.”
The census which was done in 2011 was not ideal so no one can get the accurate result from that data it was submitted “The operational difficulties are so many that there is a grave danger that the basic integrity of the census data may be compromised and the fundamental population count itself could get distorted,”
The reply cited issues concerning the collection of OBC data, claiming that in many States, Scheduled Castes is listed as an OBC Entry
“One reason which appears to be the cause of this confusion is that every enumerator who visited each household spelled each caste separately. For eg. concerning the caste of Mappilas in the Malabar region of Kerala, the said caste has been spelled in 40 different ways by different enumerators resulting in the counting of 40 different castes. In a further example, “Pawar” and “Powar” would be grouped as they are phonetically similar though only “Powar” are OBCs,” the affidavit said.
The government further stated that in the past many High Court and Supreme court have rejected the relief related to this relief.