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Background

In India there is reservation (for government employment and admissions etc) based on caste and income among other types.

For caste based reservation mainly following categories are there —

Reserved categories

  • SC (scheduled caste)
  • ST (scheduled tribe)
  • OBC-NCL (Other Backward Class — Non creamy layer)
  • General-EWS (Economically Weaker Section)

Non-reserved categories

  • OBC-CL (Creamy layer)
  • General-others (non EWS)

My questions —

  1. Is there default caste of child born out of inter-caste marriage? Or parents get to choose caste for child from among castes of theirs?

  2. What will be the reservation category of a child when—

    • One parent belongs to non-reserved category and other belongs to reserved one.
    • Both parents belong to different reservation categories.
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  • 2
    Good question. I don't know the answer and don't have adequate resources to find out.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 26, 2021 at 21:46
  • 1
    @ohwilleke Can you please share this with somebody from India if you know someone who might answer this?
    – ShivCK
    Jul 27, 2021 at 4:42
  • 1
    I wish I knew someone in India who did. We'll have to hope that one of our other readers has some insight into your question.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 27, 2021 at 7:42
  • 1
    I have an inkling of an answer, but it will take some research. BRB
    – user35069
    Jul 27, 2021 at 8:03

1 Answer 1

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Is there default caste of child born out of inter-caste marriage?

Short answer

  • The child normally takes the father's caste, but it may be contested if it can be shown that the child is brought up by the mother.

Long answer

[T]he legal position that seems to emerge is that in an inter-caste marriage or a marriage between a tribal and a non-tribal the determination of the caste of the offspring is essentially a question of fact to be decided on the basis of the facts adduced in each case. The determination of caste of a person born of an inter-caste marriage or a marriage between a tribal and a non-tribal cannot be determined in complete disregard of attending facts of the case. In an inter- caste marriage or a marriage between a tribal and a non-tribal there may be a presumption that the child has the caste of the father. This presumption may be stronger in the case where in the inter-caste marriage or a marriage between a tribal and a non-tribal the husband belongs to a forward caste. But by no means the presumption is conclusive or irrebuttable and it is open to the child of such marriage to lead evidence to show that he/she was brought up by the mother who belonged to the scheduled caste/scheduled tribe. 

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  • 1
    Excellent answer.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 27, 2021 at 17:59
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    Thanks for the answer. But sadly it only resolves ⅓rd of the issue.
    – ShivCK
    Jul 28, 2021 at 5:23
  • @ShivCK The answers to your other, related, questions are the same - normally the father's caste unless the court rules otherwise
    – user35069
    Jul 28, 2021 at 6:51
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    Thanks for your help. I guess lack of a definitive law makes things complicated.
    – ShivCK
    Jul 28, 2021 at 16:36

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