NEW DELHI — Dalit converting to Islam or Christianity can’t claim reservation advantages and it’ll also deprive the person the eligibility to contest parliamentary or Assembly election from constituencies reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC), said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in response to a question in Rajya Sabha.
Prasad, in response to a query from BJP member G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, clarified that those who have adopted Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths would be eligible for contesting from SC reserved seats and getting different reservation advantages. He further elaborated on the aspect of eligibility to fight an election from reserved constituencies.
Prasad added that Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order outlines that no person who professes a religion different from Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste.
Nevertheless, the minister clarified that there was no proposal to bring in any modification in the Representation of People Act to debar SC/STs converted to both Islam or Christianity from struggle polls: parliamentary or Assembly elections.
In 2015, the top court in a ruling had stated that when an individual ceases to be a Hindu and becomes a Christian, the social and financial disabilities arising because of Hindu faith cease and therefore it’s now not obligatory to provide him safety and for this reason he’s deemed not to belong to a Scheduled Caste.
Prasad, in his response, made it clear that there exists a clear distinction between Dalits adopting Islam and Christianity with those selecting to adopt Hinduism.