22 April 2019


Judgments

High Court of Bombay

Ankita Ashok Nimmalwar Vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors.

MANU/MH/2204/2017

25.09.2017

Civil

The validity certificates issued by following a lawful procedure cannot be tinkered

The petitioner in present petition challenges the order passed by the Scheduled Tribe Certificate Scrutiny Committee, whereby the caste certificate validity claim of the Petitioner belonging to the "Mannervarlu", Scheduled Tribe has been rejected. It is the case of the Petitioner that, by birth she belongs to "Mannervarlu" tribe, which was notified as Scheduled Tribe under the Act of the Parliament No. 108 of 1976. The Petitioner was granted a caste certificate dated 7th April, 2007 by Respondent No. 5/competent authority, which according to the Petitioner was granted after necessary enquiry.

Present is a peculiar case where the Caste Scrutiny Committee has discarded four vital documents viz. caste validity certificates issued by the Scrutiny Committee as granted to the Petitioner's father, real brother, real sister and real uncle that, they belong to Scheduled Tribe "Mannervarlu". The report of the vigilance enquiry clearly indicates that, the Vigilance Cell had taken into consideration the caste certificates which were issued to the Petitioner's uncle (father's brother) and sister of the Petitioner's father recording that, both of them possess certificates belonging to "Mannervarlu" tribe.

Merely to say that, the vigilance enquiry undertaken while granting a validity certificate to the petitioner's father was casual and not appropriate is not sufficient. There is no discussion whatsoever in the impugned order to justify the reasons. In fact, the vigilance report would indicate that, the documents from the paternal side of the Petitioner's father were taken into consideration. Further, there are no comments in regard to the vigilance enquiries as conducted in regard to the validity certificates issued to the other family members, than the father.

High Court is of opinion that, approach of the Caste Scrutiny Committee in the present case is totally casual. The reasoning as set out is thoroughly unjustified to discard the caste claim of the Petitioner. The Caste Scrutiny Committee on the basis of such reasons, could not have discarded the caste validity certificates granted to four of the near relatives has no basis. There was no material before the Caste Security Committee which can lead to any inference that, each of the vigilance enquiries in cases where the Caste Scrutiny Committee has granted caste validity certificate to the petitioner's father, sister and uncle were in any manner flawed.

In case of Mohammad Munaf Mohammad Hanif Bedre & Ors. vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors. Held that the recourse to the affinity test can be one of the test, if any other conclusive material was not available. In the present case, there was sufficient material available in the form of caste validity certificate granted to the petitioner's father, brother, sister and the real uncle of the Petitioner. Thus, the reasons as recorded by the Caste Scrutiny Committee in the impugned order that, these four vital documents cannot be considered are completely unjustified in the absence of any material that the said certificates were issued by the scrutiny committee without jurisdiction, or were obtained by fraud or were so palpably illegal that they cannot be accepted/referred in law. If such reasoning is accepted which is without there being any basis then the entire sanctity in the whole process undertaken in issuing such caste validity certificates would be lost. The validity certificates issued by following a lawful procedure cannot be tinkered in the manner. The law in this regard is well settled. There is no whisper of any fraud being played by the real relatives of the Petitioner to obtain those caste validity certificates. Further, it is also not the case of the Respondents that, the committee lacked jurisdiction to issue such caste validity certificates to the said near relatives of the petitioner. It is also not the case of the Respondents that, some other vital documents are discarded by the earlier Caste Scrutiny Committee in granting the caste validity certificates to the said near relatives of the petitioner. Impugned order is quashed.

Relevant

Mohammad Munaf Mohammad Hanif Bedre & Ors. vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors.

Tags : Caste certificate Validity

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