Sunday, May 1, 2011


The issue discussed in this Post is : When a person belonging to Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe of one State migrates to another State what happens to his caste status? 
Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes for each State are indicated in the Notifications issued by the President of India under Article 341 of the Constitution of India for each State.  The castes that are notified in such Notifications are treated as Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe in the concerned State. In other words, a caste which is not notified as Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe in the Presidential Notification issued for the concerned State will not be treated as a Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe in that State even though the very same caste finds a place in the Presidential Notification issued for another State.
          The considerations for specifying a particular caste or tribe or class for inclusion in the list of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Backward Classes in a given State would depend on the nature and extent of disadvantages and social hardships suffered by that caste, tribe or class in that State which may be totally non existent in another State to which persons belonging thereto may migrate. Coincidentally, it may be that a caste or tribe bearing the same nomenclature is specified in two states but the considerations on the basis of which they have been specified may be totally different. So also the degree of disadvantages of various elements which constitute the input for specification may also be totally different. Therefore, merely because  a given caste is  specified in  State – A as s Scheduled  Caste does not necessarily mean that if there be another caste bearing the same nomenclature in another State the person belonging to the former would be entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits admissible to a member of the Scheduled  caste of the latter State.
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes belonging to a particular area of the country must be given protection so long as and to  the extent they are entitled in order to become equal with others. But equally those who go to other areas should also ensure that they make way for the disadvantaged and disabled of that part of the community who suffer from disabilities in those areas.
A Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe person who migrates from the State of his origin to another State in search of employment or for educational purposes or the like,  cannot be treated as person belonging to the Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe of the State to which he migrates and hence he cannot claim benefit as such in the latter State. A person belonging to the reserved category in one State cannot ipso facto claim the same benefit on his migration to another State. If a State makes a provision to the effect that the benefit of reservation is extended only to such Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes which are recognized as such in relation to that State then such a provision would be perfectly valid. Therefore, unless the caste of the migrant is notified in the Presidential Notification issued for the State to which he migrates he cannot claim the benefits of  reservation in that State.