On Friday (March 19, 2021) Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
It has amended the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and brought seven Scheduled Caste communities in certain parts of Tamil Nadu under the umbrella of ‘Devendrakula Velalars.’ This motion has paved its way before the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections which are scheduled for April 6, 2021.
The Statement of Objects which has been annexed to the Bill states that some modifications in the list of the Scheduled Castes have been proposed by the Government of Tamil Nadu. This has been done to group these seven castes as they exist therein as separate castes.
The Bill had been introduced after concurrence was conveyed on the modifications by the Registrar General of India. It was done so as to replace the entry for the Devendrakulathan community with Devendrakula Velalar that includes these communities which are listed separately within the Act. These communities can be listed as:
- Kadaiyan (in the districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam)
In the 1950 Order, the separate entries of these castes have now been omitted. Lastly, it is significant to note how the President is empowered by Article 341 of the constitution to specify the list of the Scheduled Castes in Union Territories as well as States. Along with this, it also endows the Parliament with the power to modify the list.