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election case = caste certificate=Initially the appellant was shown as a person belonging to the “Khatik” community and later as a person belonging to `”Kalal” community.=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.

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10740 OF 2011

(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 29584 of 2009)
Omprakash, s/o Chandranath Arya …….Appellant

Versus

State of Maharashtra & Ors. ……Respondents

J U D G M E N T
CHELAMESWAR, J.

Leave granted.
2. The 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;
2
local authority etc. and such a certificate is to be obtained by

applying to the “Competent Authority”.

“(3) Application 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.”
3. Section 4 stipulates that the “Competent Authority” on being

satisfied by the genuineness of the claim of the applicant shall issue a

caste certificate.

4. Section 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.
3

(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.”
5. It 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.

6. The “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.
4

7. The appellant submitted his caste certificate before the above

mentioned Committee for scrutiny.

8. By Order dated 4.6.2007, the Committee (fifth respondent),

accepted the claim of the appellant.

9. Aggrieved 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.

10. On 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.
5

11. Challenging 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.

12. A 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:

(i) an 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.

(ii) a 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.

(iii) a 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.
6
13. The “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”.

14. The 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.

15. All 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.
7
16. No legal principle, which warrants interference with the

conclusion reached by the High Court, is brought to our notice. The

appeal is, therefore, dismissed.

…………………………..J

( P. SATHASIVAM)

…………………………..J.

(J. CHELAMESWAR)

NEW DELHI;

DATED : DECEMBER 09, 2011.

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