In the matter of Youth For Equality v. State of Bihar And Ors. A complaint against the Patna High Court’s refusal to halt the caste survey that is taking place in the State. An Indian NGO called Youth for Equality, which campaigns against caste-based laws and reservations, initiated the current petition. According to Section 3 of the Census Act, 1948 and the related Census Rules, only the Centre is authorised to conduct censuses, and this is why the survey was rejected.
The petitioner said that it was a major issue and that the caste census survey was being conducted in light of upcoming elections. He continued by saying that Bihar was a state where casteism was pervasive. Furthermore, the Youth for Equality asserted that the survey was carried out in accordance with a state executive order that lacked any legal support. It further asserted that every household was forced to provide sensitive personal information for the census, including religion, caste, and income, which the Supreme Court ruled to be a fundamental right under Article 21. The petitions submitted to the HC further questioned the expected 500 crore Rupees cost of the survey, which was to be paid for out of the state-maintained contingency fund intended to cover unforeseen expenses. Even the state’s yearly budget failed to allocate any funds for this account, which further increased the petitioners’ suspicion about the government’s plans to carry out the survey.
Analysis of the Supreme Court Decision
Justices MR Shah and JB Pardiwala were debating a request for a stay of the caste census being conducted in the State. There is so much casteism there, the bench said. In every profession, including bureaucracy, politics, and service,” said Justice Shah. Additionally, the SC bench questioned the Bihar government regarding the objective of the exercise. “What is the goal of conducting this survey? Is it for the voter list? Why do you put so much effort into this exercise? The SC granted the petitioner’s request to file a stay application with the high court while urging that it be reviewed and ultimately determined “as soon as possible,” ideally within three days of the application’s presentation before the chief judge of the high court.