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the claim of the petitioners belonging to ‘Thakar, Scheduled Tribe’ was rejected.= the certificate issued in favour of Dilip Pandurang Pawar would be of no assistance to the petitioners as the documents discovered by the Vigilance Cell relating to local school register from 1st August, 1890 to 27th June, 1941 clearly proved that The conclusions recorded by the Scrutiny Committee are reasonable and fully supported by the material placed on record. Therefore, the conclusions reached by the Scrutiny Committee, and affirmed by the High Court cannot be said to be either perverse or based on no evidence. In view of the above, we find no merit in both the Special Leave Petitions. Accordingly, both the special leave petitions are dismissed.

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English: The Marathi poet-saint Tukaram is tak...

English: The Marathi poet-saint Tukaram is taken up into Vishnu’s heaven, Vaikunth (Ravi Varma Press, c.1910’s) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) No.3910 of 2008
POURNIMA SURYAKANT PAWAR Petitioner(s)
:VERSUS:
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND OTHERS Respondent(s)
WITH
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) No.11376 of 2010
RANI DATTATRAY PAWAR @
RANI UMESH SHINDE Petitioner(s)
:VERSUS:
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND OTHERS Respondent(s)
O R D E R
Delay condoned in SLP(C) No.11376/2010.
Both the petitions are filed by two cousin
(sisters) against the decision of the Scheduled Tribe
Certificate Scrutiny Committee, Pune Region, Pune, (for
short “Scrutiny Committee”) in Case No.ICSC/MPSC/Pune-
01/2006 decided on 30th July, 2007 and in Case No.
TCSC/SER/PUNE/19/2006 decided on 26th
March, 2009, whereby the claim of the petitioners
belonging to ‘Thakar, Scheduled Tribe’ was rejected.
Both the petitioners moved the High Court of Judicature
1
REPORTABLEPage 2
at Bombay by way of separate writ petitions being Writ
Petition No.6674 of 2007 and Writ Petition No.5231 of
2009, which were dismissed by orders, dated 8th
January, 2008 and 4th November, 2009 respectively.
Both the petitioners are relying on common facts in
support of their claim. They are also relying on the
Certificate issued to Dilip Pandurang Pawar,
recognizing his caste to be “Thakar Scheduled Tribe”.
For the purposes of this order, we shall make a
reference to the facts as pleaded by the petitioner in
Writ Petition No. 6674 of 2007.
A perusal of the order passed by the Scrutiny
Committee in the case of the petitioner in Writ
Petition No.6674 of 2007 would show that she had relied
upon the following documents in support of her claim:
“I. Original and attested copy of caste
certificate in respect of applicant
showing caste as Hindu Thakar, Scheduled
Tribe bearing No.030405248, dated
11.7.2003 issued by the Deputy
Collector, (C.F.C. Pune)
II. Attested copy of school leaving
certificate in respect of applicant
wherein caste is shown as Hindu Thakar
and date of admission 02.06.88.
III. Attested copy of high school leaving
certificate in respect of applicant
2Page 3
wherein caste is shown as Hindu Thakar
and date of admission 12.06.95.
IV. Attested copy of school admission
abstract in respect of Laxman Tukaram
Thakar (applicant’s grandfather)
wherein caste is shown as Thakar and
date of admission is not recorded.
V. Attested copy of school leaving
certificate in respect of Sakharam
Tukaram Thakar (applicant’s cousin
grandfather) wherein caste is shown as
Thakar and date of admission 23.08.23.
VI. Attested copy of caste certificate
showing caste as Hindu Thakar, Scheduled
Tribe and attested copy of validity
certificate issued by the Scrutiny
Committee, Pune vide No.TRI/TCSC/Pune-
1/2001/2998, dated 19.07.2002 in respect
of Dilip Pandurang Pawar (applicant’s
uncle). Also the original affidavit
sworn by Dilip Pandurang Pawar showing
the relationship with the applicant.
VII. Attested copy of death certificate in
respect of Rama Pipalu Thakar
(applicant’s great grandfather) wherein
caste is shown as Thakar and date of
death is 10.12.22.
VIII.Attested copy of death certificate in
respect of Bakula Kom Tukaram Thakar
(applicant’s great grandmother) wherein
caste is shown as Thakar and date of
death is 21.10.18.
IX. Attested copy of death certificate in
respect of Banu Kom Tukaram Thakar
(applicant’s great grandmother) wherein
caste is shown as Thakar and date of
death is 15.04.39.
X. Attested copy of death certificate in
respect of Chandri Bap Tukaram Thakar
(applicant’s father’s aunt) wherein
caste is shown as Thakar and date of
death is 10.11.17.
3Page 4
XI. Attested copy of death certificate in
respect of Parvati Bap Tukaram Thakar
(applicant’s father’s aunt) wherein
caste is shown as Thakar and date of
death is 22.11.22.
XII. Attested copy of birth certificate
showing that one female child is born to
Tukaram Rama Thakar (applicant’s
grandfather) wherein caste is shown as
Thakar and date of birth is 19.11.23.
XIII.Unattested copy of death certificate in
respect of Babaji Bin Ramu Thakar
(applicant’s relative wherein caste is
shown as Thakar and date of death is
04.10.12.
XIV. Unattested copy of birth certificate in
respect of Shevanti Tukaram Thakar
(applicant’s father’s aunt) wherein
caste is shown as Thakar and date of
birth is 11.04.33.”
The Vigilance Cell conducted separate enquiries
into the claim made by both the petitioners. During
the course of enquiry, statement of Suryakant Pandurang
Pawar (petitioner’s father) in Writ Petition No.6674 of
2007, was recorded on 31st January, 2007, in which he
stated that:
“Kuidaivat is Palicha Khandoba, Jejuricha
Khandoba and Rekaidevi. From our family one
person use to go to sing Banya once in every
year at Khandoba of Pali. My mother knows to
sing ‘Banya’ in various occasions. The
surnames in our community are Toraskar,
Gavali, Gaikwad, Pawar, Shinde, Savant,
Bhosale, Londhe, Salunke, Kadam, Chavan etc.
The main festivals of our community are
4Page 5
Divali, Dasara, Gauri Ganpati, Holi,
Akshaytrutiya, Gudhipadava, etc. There is no
dowry system in our community. The marriages
in our community are performed by the
Bramhins. I am unaware about Umbarya-Umbari,
Pitarya-Pitari, Avanji, Padekhot, Phadki etc.
customs of our community. In our community,
the cow’s milk is extracted and we drink it.”
The Vigilance Cell also examined the school
admission general register issued by the Head Master,
Z.P. Primary School, Kudal, Taluka Javali, District
Satara, the abstract of which reveals the following
information:

Sr.
No.
Regl.
No./
Book
No.
Name of
the
Student
Caste Date of
Admission
Relation
with the
Applicant
1. 15/1 Tukaram
Bin Rama
Thakar
Bhat 1.8.1890 Great-
grandfather
2. 184/1 Hariba
Bharu
Thakar
Bhat 5.3.1891 Relative
3. 108/1 Hariba
Narayan
Thakar
Bhat 10.10.1892 Relative
4. 38/1 Tukaram
Rama
Thakar
Bhat 1.8.1890 Great
grandfather
5. 169/1 Tukaram
Bin Rama
Thakar
Bhat 1.8.1890 Great
grandfather
6. 8/2 Ramchandra Marathe 04.07.08 Cousin
5Page 6
Tukaram
Pawar
Grandfather
7. 151/2 Laxman
Tukaram
Thakar
Thakar 4.1.1918 Relative
8. 60/3 Sakharam
Tukaram
Thakar
Thakar 23.08.1923 Cousin
grandfather
9. 354/3 Raghunath
Tukaram
Pawar
Hindu
Marathe
25.06.1929 Cousin
grandfather
10. 30/4 Anusaya
Ni.
Tukaram
Pawar
Hindu
Marathe
10.03.1919 Grandfather’s
sister
11. 32/4 Tara
Tukaram
Pawar
Hindu
Marathe
27.06.1941 Grandfather’s
sister

In order to comply with the rules of natural
justice, a copy of the aforesaid vigilance
enquiry report was served on the applicant –
petitioner and she was asked to submit her
response to the same. The petitioner was also
called for personal hearing on 6th March, 2007.
The petitioner appeared before the Scrutiny
Committee on 20th March, 2007. In her response,
she stated that :
“b) The name of the great grandfather
has been reflected three times and his
caste has been mentioned as Bhat. In
6Page 7
old records people were identified by
the name of their caste and it was
surname which is used to be written as
caste. Therefore caste of the great
grandfather came to be entered as
Thakar. However, inadvertently the
caste is recorded as ‘Bhat’. Save and
except this is plated (sic) entry
specific of my grandfather namely Laxman
Tukaram Thakar mentions his caste as
Thakar.”
Although first part of the last sentence does
not make sense, we presume that she has asserted
that ‘Bhat’ has been wrongly stated to be caste of
her grandfather. In its order dated 30th July,
2007, the Scrutiny Committee also noticed in
Paragraph 5 as follows:-
“5. At the time of personal hearing,
the applicant has filled in ‘Sunavani
Patrika’ and given following information
about traits, characteristics, customs
and traditions of her community:-
a) Traditional deity of their
community is ‘Waghdev’
b) Kuldaivat of their family is
‘Pimpreshwar, Wakadeshwar’
c) Main festivals of their community
are ‘Dasara’ Holi, Divali.
d) Jat Panchayat of their community is
“Padakhot, Jamatganga/Panchayat”
e) Traditional dance of their
community is “Kambad Nach, Dhol Nach,
Dhamadi Nach, Gauri Nach, Bhondala
Nach.’”
7Page 8
Upon examination of the entire material on
record, the Scrutiny Committee, in both the
matters, rejected the claim of the petitioners.
Mr. Sudhanshu S. Choudhari, learned counsel
for the petitioners submitted that the Scrutiny
Committee was not justified in ignoring the
voluminous record produced by the petitioners,
which pertained to the pre-constitution period
showing that the petitioners belonged to ‘Thakar
Scheduled Tribe’. He submitted that as the
Committee was not headed by a Judicial Officer,
the High Court ought to have scrutinized the
orders of the Scrutiny Committee with care and
caution. The High Court was not justified in
ignoring the crucial issue that the same Scrutiny
Committee had verified the cast claim of Dilip
Pandurang Pawar, the paternal uncle of the
petitioners, in both the matters. The Scrutiny
Committee without any justification discarded all
the documentary evidence produced by the
petitioners on the ground that the oldest record
i.e. school record of Shri Tukaram Thakar, great
grandfather of the petitioners dated 1st August,
1890 recorded his caste as ‘Bhat’. The decision
8Page 9
rendered by the Committee in both the cases, being
arbitrary, was liable to be set aside.
Ms. Asha Gopalan Nair, learned counsel
appearing for the respondents, had pointed out
that the Scrutiny Committee, after considering all
the documents, decided the claim of the
petitioners. She has made reference to the report
of the Vigilance Officer, which indicated that
from 1st August, 1890 to 27th June, 1941, the caste
of the petitioners’ relatives from paternal side,
is clearly recorded as ‘Bhat’, ‘Marathe’,
‘Thakar’, ‘Hindu Maratha’ and ‘Hindu Marathe’. She
further pointed out that the Committee has
observed the discrepancy in the information
submitted by the applicant and the applicant’s
father in W.P. No.6674 of 2007 on different days
and different places. The statement made by the
father was recorded without any forewarning, is
spontaneous. It has been correctly accepted by the
Scrutiny Committee to be reliable. The Scrutiny
Committee also noticed that, on the other hand,
the information given by the applicant, at the
time of hearing was made upon notice and after
careful thought. The Scrutiny Committee has,
9Page 10
therefore, observed that it has been made, by
making a reference to some literature, only with
an intention to grab the benefits and concessions
available to Scheduled Tribes.
We have given careful thought to the
submissions of the learned counsel.
Before we proceed further, it would be
appropriate to notice the observations made by
this Court in Kumari Madhuri Patil and another
versus Addl. Commissioner, Tribal Development and
Others [(1994) 6 SCC 241],which are as follows :
“15. The question then is whether the
approach adopted by the High Court in
not elaborately considering the case is
vitiated by an error of law. High Court
is not a court of appeal to appreciate
the evidence. 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 record the
1Page 11
finding. Each case must be considered in
the backdrop of its own facts.”
Keeping in view the ratio above, let us now
examine the fact situation in the present matters.
As noticed earlier, the Scrutiny Committee, in
both the cases, has noticed that number of
documents from 1890 to 1941 showing that the
family members of the petitioners did not belong
to the ‘Thakar Scheduled Tribe’, their caste being
variously indicated as ‘Bhat’, ‘Marathe’, ‘Thakar’
and ‘Hindu Marathe’, were deliberately withheld by
the petitioners at the time of making the
application before the caste Scrutiny Committee.
The Scrutiny Committee also noticed that the
petitioners failed in the affinity test as the
information supplied by them was at variance with
the information given by Suryakant Pandurang
Pawar, father of the applicant, in Writ Petition
No.6674 of 2007. On a careful analysis of the
entire material, the Scrutiny Committee has
concluded that the certificate issued in favour of
Dilip Pandurang Pawar would be of no assistance to
the petitioners as the documents discovered by the
Vigilance Cell relating to local school register
1Page 12
from 1st August, 1890 to 27th June, 1941 clearly
proved that the caste of the family members and
predecessors of the petitioners was recorded as
‘Bhat’, ‘Thakar’, ‘Marathe’ and ‘Hindu Marathe’.
Upon examination of the reasons given by the
Scrutiny Committee in both the matters, we are
unable to accept the submissions made by
Mr. Sudhanshu Choudhari that the High Court has
committed any error in affirming the decision
rendered by the Scrutiny Committee in both the
matters. In fact, the decision rendered by the
High Court would fall squarely within the ratio
laid down by this Court in the case of Kumari
Madhuri Patel (supra). The conclusions recorded by
the Scrutiny Committee are reasonable and fully
supported by the material placed on record.
Therefore, the conclusions reached by the Scrutiny
Committee, and affirmed by the High Court cannot
be said to be either perverse or based on no
evidence.
In view of the above, we find no merit in
both the Special Leave Petitions. Accordingly,
both the special leave petitions are dismissed.
1Page 13
………………………………………………………J.
[SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR]
……………………………………………………
J.
[M.Y. EQBAL]
New Delhi;
March 07, 2013.
1

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