The Madhya Pradesh High Court has held the court in a writ jurisdiction cannot direct the State to include or exclude any caste in the list of Scheduled Tribes published under the authority of the President of India.
The list of Scheduled Tribes is framed by the President of India in terms of Article 342 of the Constitution of India.
“Such power of the President is statutory in nature”, the court said.
The court dismissed a PIL seeking direction to include the castes like Kewat, Mallah, Navik in the list of Scheduled Tribes akin to the Majhi caste already there in the list of Scheduled Tribes.
The ground taken in the PIL was that the Majhi caste belongs to the same community to which castes like Kewat, Mallah, Navik are included traditionally.
Since the Majhi caste is placed at serial no. 28 of the list of Scheduled Tribes, but other castes like Kewat, Mallah, Navik is placed at serial no.11 in the list of Other Backward Classes (OBC) in Madhya Pradesh.
Therefore the castes like Mallah, Kewat, Navik be included in the list of the Scheduled Tribes after deleting from the list of Other Backward Classes.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Atul Sreedharan said “the legislative functions cannot be directed to be exercised in a particular manner by this Court in exercise of writ jurisdiction”.
Read the Order here.