Patna: In a landmark judgement of far reaching consequences, Patna High Court on Thursday stayed ongoing caste based survey in Bihar with immediate effect and directed the state government that data already collected are secured and not shared with anybody till final orders are passed in this connection.
A division of bench of Chief Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice Madhuresh Prasad ordered for immediate stay on caste based survey presently being carried out in Bihar and directed the state government to ensure that the data already collected are secured and not shared with anybody till final orders are passed on the petition challenging the caste based survey.
The petition was filed by an organisation ” Youth for equality” demanding stay on caste based survey in Bihar saying it was beyond jurisdiction of state government and violation of right to privacy.
The bench in its order observed that state government had no power to carry out a caste based survey in the manner in which it is fashioned now, which would amount to census, thus impinging upon the legislative power of union parliament.
In notification issued for conducting caste based survey, it was found that state government intended to share the data with leaders of different parties of the state assembly, the ruling party and opposition parties, which was also a matter of great concern as it raised the larger question of right to privacy which the Supreme Court had already held to be a facet of right to life. The Court fixed July 7 as next date for hearing the petition.
Earlier, the petitioner had approached Supreme Court which had directed the Patna High Court to hear the case the deliver judgement in three days.
Caste based survey presently being carried out was to be completed by May 15 this year.