Saini Community challenges their inclusion as Social Caste

HC directs UTof J&K & Backward Classes Commission to disclose its stance


Jammu, Oct 19: In a significant order, Justice Puneet Gupta of High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh at Jammu has directed Commissioner/Secretary of Social Welfare Department, Govt. of J&K; Socially & Educationally Backward Classes Commission; Divisional Commissioner, Jam-mu; Deputy Commissioner, Jam-mu; Deputy Commissioner, Samba & Deputy Commissioner, Kathua to file their stance before the next date of hearing in a writ petition filed by Members of Saini Comm-unity through Suksham Singh Son of Vir Singh resident of Bishnah, District Jammu through Advo-cates S.S. Ahmed and Sheikh Najeeb challenging S.O. 537 dated October, 19, 2022 issued by the Social Welfare Department to the extent of the amendment which has been made in the J&K Reservation Rules, 2005 by adding 'Saini' Caste as a Weak and Under privileged Class (Social Caste) at Entry No. 31 into Annexure-D attached to S.O. 537 dated 19.10.2022.
After hearing Advocate Sheikh Najeeb with Advocate Rahul Raina, Justice Puneet Gupta observed that Advocate Sheikh Najeeb has submitted that as per the response to the grievance projected on the J&K Grievance Redressal Portal, the Social Wel-fare Department has responded on June 12, 2023 that the S.O. 537 dated 19.10.2022 has been kept in abeyance by the Government till further orders and Advocate Sheikh Najeeb further submitted that interim relief may be granted by directing the Govt. of J&K not to issue caste certificates under the aforesaid S.O. 537 in favour of the Members of the Saini Community as the said Caste is a upper caste.
Advocate Sheikh Najeeb further submitted that there is a reference of Sainis' in the Mahabharat, Book I, Chapter 10 that Maharaja Shoorsen, who was the Grand-father of Lord Shri Krishna and was father to Kunti and Vasudev who was the founder of Saini Class. Further, Lord Krishna has been mentioned as Shoorsaini by Veda Vyasa (Writer of Mahabharat) in Mahabharat Book 13, Chapter 147. It is submitted that the Sainis draw their lineage from Shoorsen and is amongst the eleven Vanshas of Yadus meaning thereby that Sainis are Yaduvanshi Kshatriyas and that is why their lineage is Sacrosanct to them being directly related to Lord Shri Krishna. He further submitted that 'Saini' Community is doing well economically in J&K and are doing business and also employed in Govt. Services and are neck to neck with other upper castes and there was no quantifiable data before the Backward Classes Commission which would have justified their inclusion in the Socially & Educationally Backward Classes. Advocate Sheikh Najeeb vehemently argued that one Saini family comprising of 04 members on December 30, 2020 represented before the Backward Classes Commission seeking reservation under OBC/OSC category and the said representation rem-ained pending with the Backward Classes Commission and thereafter 3 more persons on March 17, 2022 claiming to be the representatives of Saini Comm-unity moved another representation to the Backward Classes Commission claiming their inclusion into the list of Socially & Educationally Backward Classes.
During the course of arguments further submitted that aforementioned persons without taking the community into confidence and on their own represented before the authorities and the community as a whole was unaware of it and the whole community all of a sudden was taken aback with the issuance of the impugned S.O. 537 dated 19.10. 2022. Soon after the issuance of the S.O. 537, there was huge resentment/protest by the Saini Community in different parts of Jammu which was carried by the leading print media as well as Social Media.
After considering the submissions of Advocate Sheikh Najeeb with Advocate Rahul Raina appearing for the Members of Saini Community, Justice Puneet Gupta issued notices to the U.T. Functionaries which were accepted in the open court by Advocate Vidushi Singh appearing vice Senior AAG Monika Kohli on behalf of Govt. of J&K. The Court directed that objections be filed by the next date of hearing i.e. October 18, 2023.JNF

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