Rajasthan High Court
Rajasthan High Court

Mentioning Caste against Constitution: Rajasthan HC Registry issues notice against stating person's Caste in judicial/administrative matters

The direction was issued after controversy arose over the mention of a bail applicant's caste in the cause title of a Rajasthan High Court order passed last week. A lawyer had also written to the CJI over the issue.

Bar & Bench

After controversy followed a Rajasthan High Court order passed last week, wherein a bail applicant's caste was mentioned in the cause title to the order, the Court's Registrar General has issued a direction against mentioning a person's caste in judicial orders or in administrative matters.

The notification issued on Monday states that it was observed that the "caste of accused and other persons is being incorporated by the officers/ officials of Registry of the Court and Presiding Officers of Subordinate Courts/ Special Courts/ Tribunals in judicial and administrative matters."

Terming the same as being against the spirit of the Constitution of India and contrary to a July 2018 ruling of the Rajasthan High Court, the Registrar General has now instructed,

"...it is enjoined upon all concerned to ensure that caste of any person including accused is not incorporated in any judicial or administrative matter."
the notice states.

On Friday, a lawyer appearing for a bail applicant drew the Rajasthan High Court's ire when he appeared for the video conference hearing wearing a baniyan (inner vest). Taking critical note of the lapse in courtroom decorum, and given that the Court had already cautioned against donning such improper attire, the single judge opted to adjourn the hearings.

The adjournment order passed in this regard, however, also mentioned the caste of the bail applicant in the cause title, drawing criticism from various quarters.

A lawyer, Advocate Amit Pai, also wrote to the Supreme Court Chief Justice raising concern over the deep-rooted prejudices reflected in incorporating the caste of a party in a judicial order.

Advocate Pai had further indicated in his letter that this was not an isolated incident.

In this regard, he recounted that during a brief stint at the Rajasthan High Court, he had come across a number of cases where the "caste or religion (of parties) was mentioned on affidavits or the memo of parties", adding that this was "to say the least, extremely disturbing."

Read the notice issued by the Rajasthan HC Registry:

Rajasthan HC Registry Notice - April 27, 2020.pdf
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