Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to take a decision within two months on the representation that seeks the inclusion of the state’s Bhar/Rajbhar community in the Scheduled Tribes (STs) list.
Till now, this community was treated as part of the Other Backward Class (OBC) in the state.
Disposing a writ petition filed by ‘Jago Rajbhar Jago Samiti’ and another, a division bench comprising Justices Siddhartha Varma and Dinesh Pathak observed that since the Central government has forwarded the petitioner’s representation to the Uttar Pradesh government, therefore, no useful purpose would be served to keep the matter pending before this court.
Earlier, Agnihotri Kumar Tripathi, the counsel for the petitioner, had contended that keeping in view the past records, the Bhar/Rajbhar community should be treated as ST, but the state government has given them the OBC status.
The members of this community have a strong presence in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh.
The petitioner had applied the plea through a sitting MLA for inclusion in the Rajbhar community of Uttar Pradesh state in the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST). The matter reached the Centre, which had written on October 11, 2021 to the principal secretary, social welfare department, government of Uttar Pradesh, that it could not process the matter unless the proposal for including Bhar/Rajbhar community in the ST list had been processed by the state government.
After hearing all sides, the court noted that nowhere from the record, it transpired that the petitioners had approached the appropriate authority of the state government.
The communication dated October 11, 2011 of the Central government further revealed that the representations, which the petitioners had sent to the various authorities, had been forwarded to the principal secretary, social welfare department, government of Uttar Pradesh, for taking actions.
In its order dated March 11, while observing that “under these circumstances, no useful purpose would be served by keeping this writ petition pending before the high court, the division bench accordingly directed the principal secretary, social welfare department, government of Uttar Pradesh to take a decision on the representations, which have been forwarded to him by the Central government within a period of two months in accordance with law”.