"Refrain From Using Word Dalit": Madhya Pradesh High Court Tells State Governments

A PIL had sought that government and non-government organisations be prohibited from using the word 'Dalit'.

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'Refrain From Using Word Dalit': Madhya Pradesh High Court Tells State Governments

The court said central and state governments should refrain from using the word 'Dalit'. (File photo)


Gwalior:  The Madhya Pradesh High Court has said the central and state governments should refrain from using the word 'Dalit' in their correspondence as it did not find mention in the Constitution.

Disposing of a writ petition by Gwalior-based social worker Mohanlal Mahor, a division bench of justices Sanjay Yadav and Ashok Kumar Joshi said last week that it has "no manner of doubt" that government functionaries will not use the word.

"In the case at hand, as the petitioner fails to bring on record any documents issued by the functionaries of the central government/state government to use the 'Dalit' word as inter-changeable with the word 'Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe,' we are not inclined to cause any indulgence," the bench said.

"However, we have no manner of doubt that the central government/state government and its functionaries would refrain from using the nomenclature 'Dalit' for the members belonging to SCs and STs as the same does not find a mention in the Constitution of India or any statute," the bench said.

Petitioner's advocate Jitendra Sharma said the "order" is "binding" on the central and state governments. "The bench has used the term refrain and cautioned them (sic) from using the word Dalit," he said.

The court gave its ruling on January 15, Mr Sharma said.

The PIL had sought that government and non-government organisations be prohibited from using the word 'Dalit'.

Madhya Pradesh High Court's principal bench is located at Jabalpur, while two other benches are in Indore and Gwalior. 


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