Chandranath Arya Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors.
Jurisdiction Civil Appeal No. 10740 of 2011 (Arising out of Special Leave
Petition (Civil) No. 29584 of 2009)
J U D G M E N T
State of Maharashtra made a law known as "Maharashtra Scheduled Castes, Scheduled
Tribes, De-Notified Tribes (Vimukta Jatis), Nomadic Tribes, Other Backward Classes
and Special Backward Category (Regulation of Issuance and Verification of
Caste) Certificate Act, 2000".
Under Section 3 of
the said Act it is stipulated that any person belonging to the scheduled caste
or scheduled tribes etc, is required to produce a `caste certificate' in order to
claim benefit of reservation either for the purpose of public employment or admission
to educational institutions or for contesting elections in any * Sec.2(a) "Caste
Certificate" means the certificate issued by the Competent Authority to an
applicant indicating therein the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, De-Notified
Tribe (Vimukta Jatis), Nomadic Tribe, Other Backward Classes, Special Backward
Category, as the case may be, to which such applicant belongs; local authority etc.
and such a certificate is to be obtained by applying to the "Competent
for a Caste Certificate:- Any person belonging to any of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled
Tribes, De-Notified tribes (Vimukta Jatis), Nomadic Tribes, Other Backward Classes
or Special Backward Category, required to produce a Caste Certificate in order to
claim the benefit of any reservation provided to such Castes, Tribes or Classes,
either in any public employment or for admission into any educational institution,
or any other benefit under any special provisions made under Clause (4) of
Article 15 of the Constitution of India or for the purpose of contesting for elective
post in any local authority or in the co-operative societies; or for purchase or
transfer of land from a tribal land holder or any other purposes specified by the
Government, shall apply in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed, to
the Competent Authority for the issue of a Caste Certificate."
4 stipulates that the "Competent Authority" on being satisfied by the
genuineness of the claim of the applicant shall issue a caste certificate.
6 of the said Act contemplates the constitution of one or more Scrutiny Committees
by the State Government for the verification of the correctness of any caste certificate
issued by the Competent Authority. Sub-section (2) thereof stipulates that any person,
who obtains a caste certificate from the "Competent Authority" is required
to make an application for issuance of the validity certificate. Section 6 in so
far as (1-IV) relevant for the present purpose reads as follows. (6)Verification
of Caste Certificate by Scrutiny Committee.
(1) The Government
shall constitute by notification in the Official Gazette, one or more Scrutiny Committee
(s) for verification of Caste Certificates issued by the Competent Authorities under
sub-section (1) of section 4 specifying in the said notification the functions
and the area of jurisdiction of each of such Scrutiny Committee or Committees.
(2) After obtaining the
Caste Certificate from the Competent Authorities, any person desirous of availing
of the benefits or concessions provided to the Scheduled castes, Scheduled
Tribes, De- Notified tribes (Vimukta Jatis), Nomadic Tribes, Other Backward Classes
or Special Backward Category for the purposes mentioned in section 3 may make an
application, well in time in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed,
to the concerned Scrutiny Committee, for the verification of such Caste
Certificate and issue of a validity certificate."
appears from the exhibit P-8 that under the provisions of the Maharashtra Zilla
Parishad and Panchayat Samiti Act, 1961, the candidate elected from a reserved
constituency is required to present the caste certificate before the Scrutiny
Committee for verification.
"caste certificate" of the appellant is in issue in the instant appeal.
The appellant claims that he belongs to a community known as "Kathik"
which admittedly is recognised as scheduled tribe in the State of Maharashtra. He
contested and was elected as a member of Zilla Parishad from the Ambulga constituency
reserved for the scheduled tribes against the fifth respondent.
appellant submitted his caste certificate before the above mentioned Committee
Order dated 4.6.2007, the Committee (fifth respondent), accepted the claim of
by the said decision, the fifth respondent had earlier approached the Bombay High
Court by way of a Writ Petition No. 7026 of 2007. By the Judgment dated 7th
August, 2008, the said writ petition was allowed and the matter remitted back to
the fifth respondent.
The fifth respondent by
a fresh Order dated 26th November, 2008, recorded that the claim of the
appellant could not be sustained. Therefore, the appellant herein had earlier approached
the Bombay High Court by writ petition No. 7436 of 2008 which was allowed by
the Judgment dated 17th January, 2009 on the ground that the fifth respondent did
not comply with the requirement of the Principles of Natural Justice and once
again remitted the matter back with the appropriate directions.
such remand, the fifth respondent once again, after an appropriate enquiry,
passed an order dated 25.2.2009 invalidating the caste certificate and recommended
to the Regional Commissioner, Aurangabad to set aside the election of the appellant
herein to the Zilla Parishad.
the above-mentioned decision, the appellant herein once again approached the Bombay
High Court, by way of writ petition No. 1633 of 2009, which stood dismissed.
Hence, the special leave petition.
very vehement attempt is made by the learned counsel appearing for the
appellant inviting the attention of this Court to the various documents in a
bid to invite a conclusion on facts contrary to the one reached by the Bombay
High Court. They are:
unregistered Sale Deed said to have been executed by the father of the
appellant herein approximately in 1941 wherein the father of the appellant is
described as person belonging to `"Khatik" caste.
certificate allegedly issued by the "Scrutiny Committee" in favour of
an alleged nephew of the appellant, who is shown in the certificate to be a person
belonging to the "Khatik" community.
register of the school where the appellant studied where conflicting entries were
made regarding the caste status of the appellant. Initially the appellant was
shown as a person belonging to the "Khatik" community and later as a
person belonging to `"Kalal" community.
"Scrutiny Committee" declined to place any reliance on such documents
for arriving at a conclusion in favour of the appellant. The High Court
recorded very cogent reasons for refusing to interfere with the conclusions
raised by the "Scrutiny Committee".
High court held that the authenticity of the first of the above-mentioned
documents is not established. Coming to the second of the above-document, it
was held that there is no material on record to establish the actual relationship
between the appellant and the alleged nephew of the appellant. In so far as the
third of the above-mentioned document is concerned, the High Court opined that
though there are conflicting entries in the record of the school service book
of the appellant, the appellant never took care to get the record corrected and
he accepted the entry that he belong to the "Kalal" community without
questioning the same.
that the appellant is asking us in the instant appeal is to make a third guess
on facts. The evidence produced by the appellant was examined by the
"Scrutiny Committee" and the examination was quite elaborate. The legality
of the conclusions reached by the "Scrutiny Committee" was examined by
the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court and by the judgment under appeal it
was held that the said conclusions did not warrant any interference.
legal principle, which warrants interference with the conclusion reached by the
High Court, is brought to our notice. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed.