news Friday, February 27, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | February 27, 2015 | 10.56 pm IST

The Supreme Court has said that a person who “reconverts” from Christianity to the original Scheduled Caste to which her or his parents belonged, shall be eligible to avail of the benefits of reservation provided certain conditions are fulfilled. 

The Indian Express reported that the Supreme Court ruling comes after a K P Manu, a government employee approached the court. His great-grandfather belonged to an SC community and had embraced Christianity. Manu’s parents too were Christians. However, Manu “re-converted” to the caste of his great-grandparents and was issued a caste certificate by an authorized body, meaning that he was accepted as a person of that caste by the community.

He was employed by Malabar Cements, a government company, which later cancelled his caste certificate and demanded that he return Rs 15 lakh which was paid as salary to him.

It is in this context that the Supreme Court observed: “There has been detailed study to indicate the Scheduled Caste persons belonging to Hindu religion, who had embraced Christianity with some kind of hope or aspiration, have remained socially, educationally and economically backward.”

It added: “If a person born to Christian parents, who had converted to Christianity from the Scheduled Caste Hindu, can avail the benefits of the caste certificate after embracing Hinduism, there cannot be any soundness of logic that he cannot avail similar benefits because his grandparents were converted and he was born to parents who were Christians.”

However, the court placed three conditions of eligibility for availing caste benefits in such a situation. The person who “reconverts” must have proof that s/he originally belonged to a Scheduled Caste, proof of “reconversion” to the caste of her/his forefathers, and that s/he has been accepted by the community.

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