Kerala High Court gives government green light for sample survey among the forward communities

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The Kerala High Court on Monday allowed the State government to go ahead with the sample survey among the forward communities in view of the government submission that it was being undertaken to identify families for providing other benefits except the 10 per cent reservation earmarked for economically weaker sections among the forward communities.

Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan, however, directed the government to take a decision on the recommendations of the Justice A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai Commission that a socio-economic-community survey of all the communities in the entire population of the State and population census of all the communities in the State be undertaken.

The court also asked the government to file an affidavit in this regard by January 31, 2022. The court made it clear that the government should take a specific stand on the recommendations of the commission.

The court issued the directives on a writ petition filed by the Nair Service Society (NSS) challenging the government’s sanction for conducting a random sample survey among the forward class communities.

When the petition was taken up for hearing, the Government Pleader and counsel for the Kerala State Commission for Economically Backward Classes Among forwarding Communities submitted that the sample survey being conducted had nothing to do with the recommendation on providing 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections among the forward class communities. It was being conducted to identify weaker sections for providing them other benefits.

NSS stance

NSS General Secretary G. Sukumaran Nair said in his petition that the NSS opposed the survey as it would bring out only a truncated and sketchy picture of economically weaker sections of forwarding communities. There was a greater chance of the government acting on such truncated data to the detriment of forward communities in future as well.

Mr. Nair said if the socio-economic-community survey and population census of all the communities were conducted, it would provide a databank for the implementation of reservation and other welfare measures to bring the marginalised and the downtrodden into the mainstream.

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