Bapurao Nagpure Vs. State of Maharashtra
& Others  INSC 405 (15 March 1996)
K. (J) Venkataswami K. (J) Punchhi, M.M. K. Venkataswami, J.
1996 AIR 1338 1996 SCC (3) 685 JT 1996 (3) 405 1996 SCALE (3)53
appeal is directed against the Division Bench Judgment of the Bombay High Court
in W.P. No. 2773/95 dated 22.6.95.
time of arguments before us, learned counsel appearing for the appellant has
confined his contention to the claim of the appellant that she belongs to
"Halba" Scheduled Tribe.
stated the facts are that the appellant with a view to apply for admission to
the Medical Course, approached the second respondent, the Scheduled Tribe Caste
Certificate Scrutiny Committee (for Short "Committee") for the issue
of a caste certificate to the effect that she belongs to "Halba"
Scheduled Tribe to enable her to apply for admission to the Medical Course
under that category. In support of her claim, apart from appearing before the
Committee and furnishing certain information, the appellant has filed 17
documents consisting of certificates issued by Executive Magistrate and School
Certificate issued to her and Caste Certificate issued to her father.
second respondent Committee while considering the claim of the appellant and
evaluating the probative value of the documents produced, did not appear to
have dealt with one important document, namely, Certificate No. 9 in the Order
of the second respondent which related to an Order passed by the Government on
appeal by the first cousin of the appellant in the matter of issue of Caste
Certificate to him. That Order of the Government dated 1.9.81 overruling the
Order of a Committee, granted a Caste Certificate holding that the first cousin
of the appellant, by name, Abinash Prabhakar Nagpure belonged to "Halba"
community, a Scheduled Tribe in the State of Maharashtra. Likewise, while
brushing aside the Caste Certificate issued in favour of the appellant's
father, the Scrutiny Committee merely observed that it was issued in a casual
manner without proper verification.
course of the argument before us, learned counsel for the appellant contended
that in the light of the Instructions issued by the Government of Maharashtra's
that if a close relative is already given a Caste Certificate, that must be
given due weight, has not been followed by the Committee. He also submitted
that the Certificate issued on 26.8.71 by the appropriate authority after
verification was the basis for the issue of the Caste Certificate to the father
of the appellant, was not noticed by the Committee.
the Certificate dated 26.8.71 was not produced before the Committee. From the
Order passed by the Committee, we find that the failure of the appellant to
produce her father's Primary School Certificate was taken serious note of to
reject the appellant's claim.
the High Court also, it is claimed, reliance was placed on the Caste
Certificate issued to the first cousin and also the Death Certificate issued on
the death of the appellant's grandmother but those were not discussed by the
counsel appearing for the respondents supporting the Order of the
second-respondent Committee submitted that in view of the judgments of this
Court in Kumari Madhuri Patil and Anr. vs. Additional Commissioner, Tribal
Development & Ors. (1994) 6 SCC 241); Director of Tribal Welfare, Govt. of
A.P. vs. Laveti Giri & Anr. (1995) 4 SCC 32) the conclusion recorded by the
second-respondent Committee does not call for any interference.
have considered the rival submission and perused the order of the
second-respondent Committee and also that of High Court.
have noticed earlier that before the second- respondent Committee, 17 documents
were produced by the appellant to support the claim that she belonged to "Halba"
Scheduled Tribe. The second-respondent Committee while appreciating the
probative value of almost all the documents, did not refer to and consider an
important document, namely, an order passed by the Government on appeal at the
instance of Abinash Prabhakar Nagpure for identical relief. It is not disputed
before us that Abinash Prabhakar Nagpure is the first cousin of the appellant.
The Government by the said order dated 1.9.81 reversing the order of the
Committee recognized the claim of Abinash Prabhakar Nagpure that he belonged to
"Halba" Scheduled Tribe.
documents placed before the Committee are the following :
Copy of the caste certificate issued by Principal, G.N. Khalsa College, Bombay dated 5.7.94.
copy of school leaving certificate issued by Principal AFAC English School, Chembur, Bombay vide Reg No. 3032.
copy of school leaving certificate issued by Head Master, St. Sabastian's High
School, Chambur Bombay vide. Reg. no. 4768.
copy of School leaving certificate issued by Principal, St. Judge's High
School, Kalyan vide Reg. No. 2185.
copy of caste certificate issued by Sub Divisional Magistrate, Nashik Dn. Nashik
vide No.; EDN/POL II//STSC.Sr./129/92 dated 31.11.92.
copy of certificate issued by Chairman, Halba Samaj Seva Mandal, Naushik, dated
copy of caste certificate issued by Executive Magistrate, Nagpure vide No.
3583/MRC-87/92-93 dated 13.4.93.
copy of certificate issued by Chief P&A Manager, Hindustan Petroleum
Corporation Ltd. Bombay dated 2.3.94.
copy of order passed by Assistant Secretary to Government, Social Welfare and
Sports Deptt. dated 1.9.81 in respect of Abinash Prabhakar Nagpure.
copy of caste certificate issued by Executive Magistrate Kopargaon dated
28.2.81 in respect of Abihash Prabhakar Nagpure.
copy of certificate marriage in respect of Avinash Prabhakar Nagpure.
copy of order passed by Divisional Commissioner, Konkan & Bombay Division
vide No. SO/POL/APPEAL/ST/15/82 in respect of Miss Versha Laxmikant Belekar.
copy of case certificate issued by District Magistrate, Greater Bombay in
respect of Varsha Laxmikant Belekar.
copy of certificate of validity issued by Tribal Research & Training
Institute, Pune dated 29.3.94 in respect of Virendra Laxmikant Relekar.
copy of caste certificate issued by Executive Magistrate, Nagpur in respect of Prabhakar Nagpure
copy of death certificate in respect of Taramati Shantaram Nagpure issued by Gramvikas
copy of affidavit of Shri Abinash Prabhakar Nagpure.
second-respondent Committee ignored Sl.Nos. 1-4, 6, 8, 16 & 17, though they
relate to school records of the appellant, her relatives wherein the
appellant's caste is recorded as "Halba" by simply stating that
"they were issued in a very casual manner without verifying the guidelines
given by the Government from time to time to issue such certificates".
Again while rejecting SL.. Nos. 5, 7, 10, 13 & 14, the Committee has
commented that "there is no room for the presumption that the certificate
has been correctly issued". We are not able to appreciate this approach of
the Committee in rejecting the certificates in the absence of any attempt on
the side of the Government to suspect the correctness/genuineness of the
documents produced by the appellant. We find from the copies of Certificates
included in the paper book that the Domicile and Nationality certificate issued
to the appellant's father (Annexure "C" at page 28 of paper book) was
issued on the basis of particulars of proof given as under:
Answer given by the Applicant on the prescribed form of the questionnaire.
Birth or School leaving or a like Certificate issued by Shri Sainath Madhyamik Vidyalaya.
Affidavits or Declaration of Birth Place & Caste.
the caste certificate issued to the appellant was not issued in a casual manner
but after verification of relevant records. Similarly, the caste certificate
issued to the father of the appellant was not casual one but based on the
following particulars :-
Age, Domicile. Nationality certificate.
Bona fide Certificate.
Brothers Caste Certificate.
Affidavit and Application.
into consideration these certificates and also the order of the Government
dated 1.9.81 certifying that Abinash Prabhakar Nagpure, first cousin of the
appellant belongs to "Halba" community, we are of the view that the
rejection of the appellant's claim especially when there is no other evidence
placed contra to suspect the proof produced by the appellant and without
appreciating the vital document placed before the Committee, is not correct.
true that this Court in Kumari Madhuri Patil's case (supra) has observed :-
"The Committee which is empowered to evaluate the evidence placed before
it when records a finding of fact, it ought to prevail unless found vitiated by
judicial review of any High Court subject to limitations of interference with
findings of fact. The Committee when considers all the material facts and
records a finding, though another view, as a court of appeal may be possible,
it is not a ground to reverse the findings. The court has to see whether the
Committee Considered all the relevant material placed before it or has not
applied its mind to relevant facts which have led the committee ultimately
recorded the finding.
case must be considered in the backdrop of its own facts." The same view
has been reiterated in Director of Tribal Welfare, Govt. A.P. vs. Laveti Giri
& Anr. (1995) 4 SCC 32.
the above test to the facts of the present case. we are satisfied that the
Committee failed to consider all the relevant materials placed before it and
did not apply its mind to an important document "SL.. No. 9" which
led the Committee ultimately record a finding against the appellant. By a
wrongful denial of the caste certificate, the genuine candidate, he/she will be
deprived of the privileges conferred upon him/her by the Constitution.
greater care must be taken before granting or rejecting any claim for caste
High Court without appreciating the probative value of the documents placed
before it has dismissed the writ petition filed by the appellant by simply
accept so the conclusions reached by the second-respondent Committee.
in cases of this type, the burden heavily lies on the applicant who seeks such
a certificate. That does not mean that the authorities have no role to play in
finding out the correctness or otherwise of the claim for issue of a caste
certificate. We are of the view that the concerned authorities must also play a
role in assisting the Committee to arrive at a correct decision. In this case,
except the documents produced by the appellant, nothing has been produced by
the concerned authorizes to arrive at a different conclusion.
facts of this case, we are of the view that the second-respondent Committee was
not right in rejecting the claim of the appellant and for the same reason the
order of the High Court cannot be sustained. In the result, the appeal succeeds
and is allowed accordingly. However. there will be no order as to costs.