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Change in law on SC status for children proposed

September 15, 2008 15:09 IST

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A child with either of the parents belonging to a Scheduled Caste could be considered a member of the community if a proposal for an amendment to the Constitution gets the government's nod.

Under the present statute, a child with an SC father is only deemed to be belonging to the Scheduled Caste community.

If only the mother belongs to the Scheduled Caste, the child does not get the status.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has mooted a proposal for an amendment in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to make the provision "gender neutral", a senior official said.

"The proposal is in circulation at the Union Cabinet," an official told PTI.

"We have a male dominated society here. And, so children get the status of the community/caste their fathers belong to, regardless of the community the mothers belong to," the official added.

Consequently, child of a non-SC father in cases where mother is a member of SC community remains devoid of the benefits accorded to SC community, he said.

"The proposal of the ministry is an attempt to make the provision 'gender neutral' so that children whose either of the parents are members of the SC, can also get the status of being member of the community," the official said, adding the proposal is awaiting Cabinet's nod.

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