Vs. State of M.P & Ors  Insc 597 (16 May 2007)
H.K. SEMA & V.S. SIRPURKAR
1. The challenge in this appeal is to the order dated 25-8-2004 passed by the High Court in W.P.No. 28707 of 2003, dismissing the writ petition filed by
2. The short question arises for determination in this appeal is, as to
whether the appellant Geeta belongs to Majhi Tribe, which is Scheduled Tribe or
Nishad/Mallah, which is not Scheduled Tribe.
3. We have heard the parties.
4. The appellant was granted Scheduled Tribe Certificate dated 29.8.1986 by
the District Magistrate Lucknow. The order reads:- FORM OF CASTE CERTIFICATE
This is to certify that Kumari Geeta daughter of M.S. Nishad of village/town
D-72, Nirala Nagar in District/Division Lucknow of the State Uttar Pradesh
belong to the Majhi Tribe which is recognized as a Scheduled Tribe.
Under:- The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 (as amended by the
Scheduled Castes &
Scheduled Tribes lists (Modification) Order, 1956)
2. This certificate is issued on the basis of the Scheduled/Tribe
certificate issued to Shri M.S.
Nishad father of Kumari Geeta of Village/Town Kripalpur in District Satna of
the State Madhya Pradesh, who belong to the Majhi/tribe which is recognized as
a Scheduled Tribe in the State Madhya Pradesh issued in the Distt. Magistrate
Satna (name of prescribed authority vide Letter No.87114 dated 03.11.77.
Signature C.S.Singh Designation on Officer Incharge (Certificate) (with seal
of office) District Magistrate, Lucknow Place: Lucknow Date: 29.08.1986
5. It would appear from the order itself that she was given Scheduled Tribe
Certificate on the basis of Scheduled Tribe Certificate issued to the father of
the appellant Shri M.S.
Nishad by the District Magistrate, Satna in the State of M.P.
by an order dated 3.11.1977
6. At this stage, we may point out that the said Scheduled Tribe Certificate
dated 3.11.1977 issued to the father of the appellant Shri M.S. Nishad has also
been cancelled subsequently. The appellant's father was also placed under
suspension. It is brought to our notice that the order dated 28.2.1995 has been
challenged in W.P. No.192(SB) of 1995 in the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad
High Court and the same is still pending.
7. Be that as it may, it is clear that the Scheduled Tribe Certificate
issued in favour of the appellant on 29.8.1986, that the appellant belongs to
Majhi Tribe, which is recognized as Scheduled Tribe in the State of M.P., was
issued by the District Magistrate, Lucknow, on the basis of the Scheduled Tribe
Certificate issued by the District Magistrate, Satna, in favour of her father
by an order dated 3.11.1977.
8. On the strength of the Scheduled Tribe Certificate, the appellant applied
for the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police from the reserved quota of
Scheduled Tribes. She was selected from the reserved quota and included in the
Thereafter, by an order dated 28.3.2001 she was appointed as Deputy
Superintendent of Police and is still continuing in the said post.
9. An inquiry was initiated against the appellant preceded by a complaint.
On the basis of the Inquiry Report, the services of the appellant was sought to
be terminated by an order dated 9.4.2001 inter alia on the ground that the
caste certificate issued to her father has been cancelled by the Collector,
Satna in 1995. Aggrieved thereby, the appellant filed O.A.No.1426 of 2001
before the Madhya Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, which was dismissed in
limine by an order dated 26.4.2001. Aggrieved thereby, the appellant preferred
Writ Petition No. 2237 of 2001 before the High Court, which was dismissed on
13.5.2002, with the direction to conduct an inquiry whether the appellant
belongs to Majhi Tribe or not.
10. Pursuant to the direction of the High Court, show cause notice was
issued to the appellant, by the Scheduled Tribe Certificate Investigating
Committee, Madhya Pradesh.
11. After show cause notice, the High Level Caste Screening Committee was
constituted in the light of the decision of this Court in the case of Kumari
Madhuri Patil vs. Addl. Commissioner, Tribal Development, (1994) 6 SCC 241 with
the following Members:
(i) Principal Secretary/Secretary, Government Of Madhya Pradesh, Adhim
Jhathi Kalyan Vibhagh. ..Adhyaksh (ii) Commissioner, Tribal Development Member
Madhya Pradesh Secretary (iii) Secretary, Madhya Pradesh State Scheduled Tribes
Commission, Bhopal. Member (iv) Member/Representative, Adhim Jhathi Member
12. After giving an opportunity and hearing the appellant and after
examining the documents, the High Level Caste Screening Committee, by its order
dated 18.9.2003 came to the following findings:
"5. After scrutiny of inquiry report of Superintendent of Police,
Satna, report of Additional District Magistrate (Administration), Lucknow,
Uttar Pradesh, order of Collector Satna, Caste (Nirjatiya) information,
statements, statement of other persons, educational qualifications and other
documents, the Screening Committee has arrived at following conclusions:
(i) She has not made available any such authentic documents or facts to the
Committee on the basis of which it could be proved that she belongs to Majhi
(ii) On a special examination of caste issues also, it was found that she
does not belong to Majhi caste because the gothras stated by her are not found
in this caste and she did not narrate any tribal language. The occupations
stated like fishing, labouring, farming are also not characteristics of Majhi.
6. On scrutiny of aforesaid facts, the Committee found that the original
caste of Ku.
Geeta Nishad "Mallah" confirms backward caste."
13. The aforesaid finding recorded by the High Level Caste Screening
Committee was assailed by the appellant before the Madhya Pradesh High Court in
W.P. No. 28707 of 2003. which was dismissed by the impugned order. Hence the
14. The forceful contention urged before us by the counsel for the appellant
is that no opportunity was afforded to prove her caste before the High Level
Caste Screening Committee and as such the finding recorded by the High Level
Screening Committee is vitiated for non-observance of principles of natural
justice. We do not agree.
15. Show cause notice was issued on 28.7.2003. It is not the case of the
appellant that she has not received the show cause notice.
16. She was asked to appear at 11.30 A.M. on 14.8.2003 along with all
necessary documents to prove her caste before the Committee. Paragraph 6 of the
show cause notice reads:- "6. In this regard, the certificates/documents
which you wish to produce alongwith your response should be properly verified
necessarily. In case of non-appearance on the fixed date, it will be deemed
that you have nothing to say regarding your doubtful caste certificate and
Investigation Committee will be free to take final decision in your matter on
the basis of available records."
17. The next date fixed for hearing was 18.9.2003 on which date the impugned
order was passed. In our view, therefore, adequate opportunity has been
afforded to the appellant of personal hearing as well as to produce documents
in support of her caste. In our view, it is sufficient compliance of principles
of natural justice.
18. We may notice that both her father and the appellant are well educated.
The appellant's father was said to have been born on 1.1.1947. No birth
certificate was produced. No documents whatsoever were produced prior to
3.11.1977 to prove that they belong to Majhi Tribe, which is Scheduled Tribe.
19. Counsel for the appellant invited our attention to Anthropological
Survey of India prepared by one Majumdar D.N., 'The Racial Basis of Indian
Social Structure', Eastern Anthropologist published in Oxford University Press
1994. He particularly referred to the "term Majhi" means boatman. He
has also observed that Majhi take part in agricultural operations, fetch water,
and also take part in social and religious activities. He has also referred to
the observation that the major economic resource of the Majhi is land. Their
traditional occupation was fishing, some worked as boatmen.
By this learned counsel would like to show that the finding recorded by the
High Level Caste Screening Committee is erroneous. In our view, these are not
authenticated documents. It is not prepared by the competent authority. No such
reliance can be placed for deciding the Tribal status of the appellant.
20. Counsel also brought to our notice the Urban and Non-urban Region
Mutation Register in which the family tree of Marakahn alias Mulu Majhi is
shown. It is clear that Aaraji No.607, area 33 D. Village Madhavgarh is
recorded in the name of Lessee Bisheshar, s/o Marakhan Mallah, Atma Ram.
This would also show that she belongs to Mallah/Nishad.
21. Even in the midst of hearing of this appeal, we granted more time to the
appellant, to produce any document, which will establish her tribe as Majhi,
which is Scheduled Tribe, prior to 3.11.1977, but she utterly failed. This
would clearly show that the Tribe Certificate showing the appellant as Majhi
Tribe obtained on 29.8.1986 on the basis of Tribe Certificate of her father
obtained on 3.11.1977 are without any documentary proof and manufactured
22. Counsel for the appellant has drawn our attention to the decision of
this Court in Kumari Madhuri Patil vs Addl. Commissioner, Tribal Development,
(1994) 6 SCC 241. In that case the Scheduled Tribe Certificate was fraudulently
obtained and admission was secured in Medical College. The candidate completed
her course of study and sought permission to appear only in the final
examination. In the particular facts and circumstances of that case the
Principal of the college was directed to allow her to appear in the examination
as a special case without making it a precedent. Therefore the decision in
Madhuri (supra) was in particular facts and circumstances of that case.
Secondly, here is the case where an undeserved candidate occupies the post of
deserving candidate in the reserved quota meant for them. In such a situation,
the deserving candidate is pushed out of the queue and the constitutional guarantee
reserving the post for the deserving candidate is frustrated. This must be
stopped with a strong hand.
23. In the result, there is no merit in this appeal and is, accordingly,
dismissed. Parties are asked to bear their own costs.
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