Need to avoid the nomenclature “Dalit” for the members belonging to Scheduled Castes – Govt of India Order
Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Department of Social Justice and Empowerment
Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi
New Delhi, dated: 15.03.2018
The Chief Secretaries to all the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations.
Subject: Need to avoid the nomenclature “Dalit” for the members belonging to Scheduled Castes.
I am directed to refer to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) letter No. BC 12025/44/80-SC&BCD.I/IV, dated 10.02.1982, addressed to all the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations in which a request was made to issue instructions to the authorities empowered to issue the Scheduled Castes certificates, not to insert the word ‘Harijin’ in the Scheduled Caste certificates, but to mention only the caste to which the person belongs and which has been recognised as Scheduled Caste under the Presidential Orders. Subsequently, the Ministry of Welfare (now Social Justice and Empowerment), vide, letter No. 12025/14/90-SCD (R.L.Cell), dated 16.08.1990, again requested the State Governments/ UT Administrations that for all official transactions, matters, dealings, certificates etc., the Constitutional term, ‘Scheduled Caste’ in English and its appropriate translation in other national languages should alone be used for denoting the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes. Thereafter, in compliance with recommendation of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee the aforesaid instructions were again reiterated vide this Ministry’s letter No.17020/64/2010-SCD (R.L.Cell) dated 22.11.2012.
2. The Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior Bench in its order dated 15.01.2018 passed in W.P. No.20420 of 2017 (PIL)-Dr.Mohanlal Mahor Vs.Union of India & Ors. has directed as under:-
“…..that the Central Government/ State Government and its functionaries would refrain from using the nomenclature ‘Dalit’ for the members belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as the same does not find mentioned in the Constitution of India or any statute.”
3. All the State Governments/U.T. Administrations are requested that for all official transactions, matters, dealings, certificates etc., the Constitutional term, ‘Scheduled Caste‘ in English, and its appropriate translation in other national languages should alone be used for denoting the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes notified in the Presidential Orders issued under Article 341 of the Constitution of India.
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