The Madras High Court rejected a plea from a petitioner on Wednesday to issue a community certificate as ‘Buddhist Adi Dravidar’ to him. The rejection was based on the fact that there was no ‘Buddhist Adi Dravidar’ entry in the Presidential order, according to reports.
The division bench of the court comprising of justices R Subbiah and R Pongiappan were hearing a plea filed by GJ Tamilarasu, a B.Ed graduate. Born to Christian parents as Victor Joseph J, Tamilarasu had received a ‘Christian Adi Dravidar’ community certificate while studying in school, reported Times of India. He then completed his B.Ed and postgraduation, after which he converted into Buddhism after being enamoured by its guiding principles. He also changed his name to GJ Tamilarasu, and had it notified in the gazette. He then applied for the issuance of community certificate, just like how he had one when he was a Christian.
In 2017, the Erode Collector rejected his petition for issuance of a community certificate. Tamilarasu then approached the Madras High Court against the order of the Collector.
Additional Advocate-General Narmadha Sampath, representing the Erode Collector said that there was no entry of ‘Buddhist Adi Dravidar’ in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes orders (Amendment) Act and hence the certificate demanded by Tamilarasu cannot be issued.
The court concurred with her submission, and said that the petitioner had applied for the certificate based on a government order that dates back to 2009, according to which community certificate shall be issued to persons who have reconverted to their original religion. According to the GO, the benefit as awarded in order is applicable only when the person in question converts back to the original religion of his/her ancestors.
Stating that Tamilarasu’s parents were Hindus originally who converted to Christianity and that the petitioner converted to Buddhism, the court said that the GO will not be applicable in his case.