Indian court declines lobby on quota for Dalits embracing Buddhism

PTI, Jan 6, 2009

New Delhi, India -- The Supreme Court today declined to entertain a petition questioning a provision in the legislation that extends the benefits of reservation to Dalits converted to Buddhism.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice B S Chauhan dismissed the PIL seeking annulment of the Constitutional (Scheduled Castes) Orders Amendment Act, 1990 providing reservation to Dalits converted to Buddhism.

The PIL filed by R H Boudh had contended that bringing the converted Buddhist in the fold of caste-based reservation amounted to defeating the purpose of their conversion.

"We are treated as the same lower caste people of the Hindu religion, to escape from which we had converted to Buddhism," the petitioner submitted adding that the Buddhist community did not need reservation as it would mean converting the religion of Buddhism into a caste.