CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Monday ordered notice to the Central and the State governments on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of renaming seven SC castes as ‘Devendrakula Vellalar’.
The petition came up for hearing before a Division Bench of justices M Duraiswamy and J Sathya Narayana Prasad and was filed by P Dhanavelan of Madurai, a member of the Then India Velalar Uravin Murai Sangam.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate KM Vijayan said the relevant Articles of the Constitution provides powers to the Parliament to include or exclude names in the SC list, not to change names.
Devendrakulathan is the original name of the seven sub-castes and naming them Devendrakula Vellalar is not in the scope of the government, he said.
The petition challenged the constitutional validity of The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2021, providing for substituting seven sub-castes with one name, followed by a Tamil Nadu government G.O. (Ms No 50, dated June 1, 2021).
The regrouping of the seven sub-castes under a single name with the suffix ‘Vellalar’, which has long been used by a non-SC community, was done with an intention of ‘vote politics’.
The name ‘Devendrakula Vellalar’ does not exist in the 1950 Presidential Order, the petition stated.
It sought the court to declare the Constitution (SC) Order (Amendment) Act and the G.O. as ultra-vires to Article 338 and 341 of the Constitution.
Unless the court issues an injunction against distribution of community certificate as Devendrakula Vellalar, it will create caste dispute and clashes, it said.