Courts cannot examine the correctness of the President's decision to include or exclude a particular caste in/from the list of Scheduled Castes in any part of the country, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A Bench headed by Justice SB Sinha rejected the argument that superior courts should exercise its judicial review in such matters.
Dismissing an appeal filed by Shree Surat Valsad Jilla KGM Parishad against a Gujarat High Court order, the Bench upheld the validity of the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Orders Second Amendment 2002 that excluded ‘Mochis’ outside the Dang District and Umargaon Talika of Valsad District from Schedule-I to the Constitution.
"List prepared by the President under Article 341 (3) of the Constitution of India forms one class of homogenous group. Only one list is to be prepared by the President and if any amendment thereto is to be made, the same is to be done by Parliament. Even the state does not have any legislative competence to alter the same," the apex court observed.
Under Article 341, the President may with respect to any state or Union Territory specify the castes, races or tribes for inclusion in the list of Scheduled Castes.
The petitioner challenged the deletion ‘Mochis’ from the list of SCs on the ground that the decision even if issued under a Presidential Notification was subject to judicial review.
However, the court said the President alone in terms of Article 341(1) of the Constitution was authorised to issue an appropriate notification in this regard. "It is, therefore, not for the court to render its opinion as to whether the President was correct in confining inclusion of the Caste "Mochi" within a particular area," it said.
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