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International

Census 2021: UK court rejects plea on separate Sikh tick-box

November 07, 2020 05:43 AM

COURTESY HT NOV 7

Census 2021: UK court rejects plea on separate Sikh tick-box
Prasun Sonwalkar

prasun.sonwalkar@hindustantimes.com

London : The high court of England and Wales on Friday rejected a judicial review claim seeking quashing the legislation for the 2021 census because it did not include a separate Sikh ethnic tick-box, stating that there was no error in law.

The campaign backed by several MPs was based on claims of alleged undercounting of the Sikh population in official statistics without a separate tick-box. Census ethnicity figures are used for a range of purposes, including allocation of funds.

Campaign group Sikh Federation (UK), which brought the claim, said it would continue to fight for separate recognition for the community. It had had argued that the decision to exclude the tick box was based on legally unsustainable reasoning and therefore unlawful.

A spokesperson for the office for national statistics (ONS), which is preparing for the 2021 census, said: “The census questionnaire has been designed to allow everyone to identify as they wish”.

“As in 2011, there will be a Sikh religion tick-box and everyone who wishes to identify as Sikh in response to the ethnicity question will be able to do so using search-as-you-type online and through a write-in option on paper”. “We are working across the country, with local groups and organisations, to raise awareness of the census and promote the different response options available.”

According to ONS recommendations based on research and consultation, the religion question in the census will have a specific Sikh tick-box option, and those who wish to identify as Sikh in response to the ethnicity question will be able to do so using search-as-you-type online and a write-in option on paper.

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