New Delhi, June 13: The Press Council of India (PCI) would now decide whether media can use the word ‘Dalit’ or not, Ministry of information and broadcasting told a newspaper. Last week, the Bombay High Court asked the the ministry to consider revoking the use of the word ‘Dalit’.

The ministry responded to the court saying that the PCI can take a call on such issues. The High Court was hearing a petition to remove the use of the ‘Dalit’ from communication and government documents. On March 15, the ministry of social justice and empowerment directed the state government and ministries to stop using the term ‘Dalit’ for official communication and use the word ‘Schedule Caste’ instead.

A PCI officer told the newspaper that issue of the “issue of identifying castes or religion has already been defined in the norms of journalistic conduct issued in August 1996”.

One of the professors of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) told the newspaper that the usage of constitutional terms such as ‘Schedule Caste’ should be limited to  official purposes only.