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We are in this case not concerned with any dispute that is pending before the Scrutiny Committee, this is a case of total non-compliance of the conditions stipulated in the notification (information to the candidates) wherein it has been specifically stated that a candidate claiming to be SC/ST/BC must have a certificate in support of his/her claim from a competent authority specified in the West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Identification) Act, 1994. In our view, the guidelines in in Kumari Madhuri Patil’s case (supra) or the brochure issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training, New Delhi would not override the specific conditions stipulated in the notification (information to the candidates) of compliance of the provisions of the West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Identification) Act, 1994. In such circumstances we find no error in the decision taken by the Commission in not entertaining the application of the respondent as a member of the ST Community due to non-production of the certificate from the competent authority specified in the above-mentioned Act. 17. The appeal is accordingly allowed and the Judgment of the High Court is set aside. However, we are inclined to record the submission of the learned senior counsel, appearing for the appellant that the respondent would be appointed as a judicial officer in the West Bengal Judicial Service consequent to the examination conducted in the year 2010 since he has produced the Certificate issued by the competent authority under The West Bengal Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Identification) Act, 1994. Appeal is, therefore, allowed as above, however there will be no order as to costs.

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REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL No. 4282 OF 2013
[Arising out of SLP (Civil) NO.29831 of 2011]
REGISTRAR GENERAL,
CALCUTTA HIGH COURT .. APPELLANT
Versus
SHRINIVAS PRASAD SHAH AND OTHERS .. RESPONDENTS
J U D G M E M T
K. S. Radhakrishnan, J
1. Leave granted.
2. The question raised in this case is whether the Public Service
Commission of West Bengal (for short ‘the Commission’) wasPage 2
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justified in considering the application of respondent No.1 as a
general candidate for recruitment to the West Bengal Judicial
Service Examination, 2007 rather than a member of the
Scheduled Tribe Community.
3. The Commission circulated a notification on 17th January,
2007 for the information to the candidates on 17th February, 2007
of its conducting West Bengal Judicial Service Examination 2007.
In response to the said information the respondent submitted his
application by paying an amount of Rs.200/-, as required by the
candidates in the general category in order to appear for the
examination of 2007. In the application form he had mentioned
that he belonged to ‘Gonda Community’ – Scheduled Tribe
Community and also attached a certificate from the Director,
Backward Class Welfare, West Bengal. The Commission
considered the application of the respondent as a general
candidate since he had not produced the certificate required to be
produced from the competent authority. The respondent then
attended preliminary examination and final examination as a
general candidate. The result of the West Bengal Judicial ServicePage 3
3
Examination 2007 was published in the newspapers on 29.9.2007
and the respondent was shown as a general category candidate.
Later the respondent appeared for the personality test as a
general category candidate on 4.12.2007. The Commission
published the list of 152 selected candidates on 20.3.2008 and
the respondent’s name was rank No.86 among the general
category candidates, he could not get appointment.
4. The respondent then preferred a representation on
24.4.2008 to the Chairman of the Commission and to the various
authorities to consider him as a member of the Scheduled Tribe
Community and be selected in that category for the examination
held in 2007. Since there was no response, he filed Writ Petition
No.9756 (W) of 2008 before the High Court of Calcutta contending
that since his status as a Scheduled Tribe was not in question, he
should not have been considered as a general category candidate
especially in view of the certificate produced by him from the
Director, West Bengal Backward Class Welfare. Learned Single
Judge of the Calcutta High Court noticed that he had produced a
certificate issued by the Director, Backward Class Welfare, WestPage 4
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Bengal on 08.01.2003 along with the application and hence he
should have been considered as a member of the Scheduled Tribe
Community, going by the principle laid down by this court in
Kumari Madhuri Patil and another v. Additional
Commissioner, Tribal Development and others (1994) 6 SCC
241. Learned Single Judge therefore directed the Commission
and the High Court to appoint the respondent in West Bengal
Judicial Service pursuant to the examination conducted in the
year 2007 treating him as a member of the Scheduled Tribe
Community.
5. The Registrar General, aggrieved by the judgment of the
learned Single Judge filed FMA No.1217 of 2010 before the
Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court. The Division Bench
also concurred with the view of the learned Single Judge and
dismissed the appeal. Against which the present appeal has been
filed by the Registrar General, Calcutta High Court.
6. Shri Jaideep Gupta, learned senior counsel appearing for the
appellant submitted that the High Court has committed an errorPage 5
5
in over-looking the specific conditions prescribed in the
information to the candidates for the West Bengal Judicial Service
Examination 2007. Learned senior counsel submitted that the
information specifically stipulated that the caste certificate should
be produced from a competent authority as specified in the West
Bengal Judicial Service and STs (Identification) Act, 1994 and
SCs/STs Welfare Department Order No.261-TW/EC/MR-103/94
dated 6th April, 1995. Further it is also pointed out that no claim
from a member of SC/ST/BC or physically handicap would be
entertained after submission of the application. Learned senior
counsel also submitted that the Judgment of this Court in Kumari
Madhuri Patil’s case (supra) has been misinterpreted and misapplied and nothing could be spelt out from that Judgment or
subsequent judgments diluting the conditions stipulated by the
Commission for the examination held in the year 2007. Learned
senior counsel also submitted, though in the application form the
respondent had indicated that he belonged to ST Community but
he did not produce the required certificate as provided in the
above-mentioned Act and that he had deposited Rs.200/-which
was meant only for the general category candidates. ThePage 6
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respondent sat for the said examination as a general category
candidate and could not get appointment and having failed to get
selected he is estopped from contending that he should have
been treated as a member of the Scheduled Tribe for the 2007
examination. Learned senior counsel, however, submitted that
later he has produced the required certificate in the 2010
Examination and he is being considered for appointment as a
judicial officer in the West Bengal Judicial Service treating him as
a member of the Scheduled Tribe.
7. Mr.Soumya Chakraborty, learned counsel appearing for the
respondent submitted that the High Court has correctly applied
the guidelines laid down by this Court in Kumari Madhuri
Patil’s case (supra) and also submitted that the principles laid
down in that are binding judicial precedents. Reference was
made to the Judgment of this Court in GM, Indian Bank v. R.
Rani and another (2007) 12 SCC 796. Learned counsel also
referred to the brochure published by the Government of India,
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions,
Department of Personnel and Training, New Delhi wherein it hasPage 7
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been stated that where a candidate belonging to SC/ST is unable
to produce a certificate from any of the prescribed authority he
might be appointed provisionally, on the basis of a prime facie
proof, subject to his furnishing the prescribed certificate within a
reasonable time. Learned counsel submitted applying the
principle laid down by this Court in Kumari Madhuri Patil’s case
(supra) and the brochure mentioned above, learned Single Judge,
as well as the Division Bench of the High Court, was right in
holding that the respondent be treated as a member of Scheduled
Tribe for the 2007 Examination and be appointed accordingly.
8. We may first refer to the notification issued by the
Commission (information to the candidates) for the West Bengal
Judicial Service Examination 2007. Earlier part of the notification
reads as follows:
“The relevant rules and necessary particulars are
stated in the following paragraphs. A candidate
should verify from the notified rules that he/she is
eligible for admission to the examination. The
condition prescribed cannot be relaxed”Page 8
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9. The notification also refers to the particulars and certificates
required, which reads as under:
“PARTICULARS AND CERTIFICATES REQUIRED:
(i) A candidate claiming to be SC/ST/BC must have a
certificate in support of his/her claim from a competent
authority of West Bengal as specified below [vide the
West Bengal SCs and STs (Identification) Act, 1994 and
SCs, STs Welfare Department Order No.261-1W/EC/MR-
103/94 dated 06.04.1995]
(ii) In the District, the Sub-Divisional Officer of the SubDivisional concerned;
(iii) In Kolkata, the District Magistrate South 24-Parganas or
such Additional District Magistrates, South 24-Parganas
as may be authorized by the District Magistrate, South
24-Parganas in this behalf.”
Further, the notification also states as follows:Page 9
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“No claim for being a member of the SC/ST and BC or
a Physically Handicapped person will be entertained
after submission of the application.”
10. We are in this case concerned with the question whether the
Judgment in Kumari Madhuri Patil’s case (supra), especially
sub-paragraph 10 of Paragraph 13 or clause 13.2 of the Chapter
13 of the brochure would override the specific provision stipulated
in the notification (information to the candidates). The
notification specifically stipulates that a candidate belonging to
SC/ST/BC must have a certificate in support of his/her claim from
a competent authority as specified under the West Bengal
Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Identification) Act, 1994.
That Act was enacted by West Bengal Legislature to provide for
identification of SCs and STs in West Bengal and for matters
connected therewith or incidental thereto. Section 4 of the Act
deals with the identification of members of Schedule Tribe which
reads as under:
“4. Any person belonging to any of the tribes or tribal
communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal
communities, specified in Part XII of the Schedule to the
Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, and resident in
the locality specified in relation to him in that Part ofPage 10
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such Schedule, may be identified, by a certificate, to be
a member of the Schedule Tribe.”
Section 5 of the Act deals with the issuance of a certificate which
reads as under:
“5. A cerfificate under section 3 or section 4 may be issued-
(a) In
the district, by the Sub-divisional Officer of the subdivision concerned, and
(b) In
Calcutta, by the District Magistrate, South 24-Parganas, or
by such Additional District Magistrate, South 24-Parganas,
as may be authorized by the District Magistrate, South 24-
Parganas, in this behalf.”
Explanation I. “Calcutta” shall mean the town of Calcutta
as defined in section 3 of the Calcutta Police Act, 1866.
Explanation II – For the removal of doubt, it is hereby
declared that for the purposes of this Act, the District
Magistrate, South 24-Parganas, or the Additional District
Magistrate, South 24-Parganas, authorized by the District
Magistrate, South 24-Parganas, under clause (b) of this
section, shall have jurisdiction over Calcutta.
Section 6 of the Act deals with the procedure of issuance of
certificate under the Act, on application by the person requiring aPage 11
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certificate under that Act in such form and manner and upon
production of such evidence, as may be prescribed.
11. Power has been conferred on the prescribed authority
under Section 7 to reject the application if it is not satisfied with
the evidence produced by any person under Section 6 and the
Rules made thereunder for the issuance of a certificate under
Section 5, giving a person an opportunity of being heard.
Section 8 provides for an appeal against any refusal to issue a
certificate.
12. We find no error in the decision taken by the Commission
in not entertaining the respondent’s application as a ST candidate
since no certificate was produced from the competent authority,
as provided under the West Bengal Scheduled Caste and
Scheduled Tribes (Identification) Act, 1994. The information to
the candidates specifically stated that the candidates claiming to
be SC/ST/BC must have a certificate from a competent authority
specified in the West Bengal Scheduled Caste and ScheduledPage 12
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Tribes (Identification) Act, 1994. No such certificate was
produced from that competent authority by the respondent.
Consequently, in the absence of the requisite certificate, the
Commission was justified in treating him as a general category
candidate. The first time the respondent produced the certificate
from the competent authority was only when he appeared in the
examination held on 30.7.2010, by that time he had obtained a
certificate from the competent authority on 22.9.2009.
Admittedly, at the time when 2007 examination was held no such
certificate was produced from the competent authority along with
the application. Consequently, the respondent was treated as a
general category candidate and hence he could not get
appointment as judicial officer in the examination held in the year
2007.
13. We are of the considered opinion that in view of the
specific legislation passed by the West Bengal State Legislature
Assembly i.e. West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes
(Identification) Act, 1994, and the specific stipulation in the
notification issued to the candidates, the guideline 10 of para 13Page 13
13
of Kumari Madhuri Patil’s case (supra) is inapplicable,
particularly to the facts of this case. Act does not recognize the
Director, Backward Class Welfare, West Bengal as a competent
authority to issue the certificate. Therefore, the Commission was
justified in not placing reliance on the certificate issued by the
Director, Backward Class Welfare, West Bengal. Further clause
13.2 of Chapter 13 of the brochure issued by the Government of
India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions,
Department of Personnel and Training, New Delhi is also in
applicable in view of the statutory provision incorporated in the
West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes
(Identification) Act, 1994. In this connection we may refer subpara 10 of para 13 of Kumari Madhuri Patil’s case (supra)
which reads as under:
“”In case of any delay in finalizing the proceedings, and
in the meanwhile the last date for admission into an
educational institution or appointment to an officer
post, is getting expired, the candidate be admitted by
the Principal or such other authority competent in that
behalf or appointed on the basis of the social status
certificate already issued or an affidavit duly sworn by
the parent/guardian/candidate before the competent
officer or non-official and such admission orPage 14
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appointment should be only provisional, subject to the
result of the inquiry by the Scrutiny Committee.”
14. Kumari Madhuri Patil’s case (supra) speaks of the
constitution of a Scrutiny Committee to resolve the dispute on
caste status. When there is a dispute with regard to the
certificate produced, there is bound to be delay in finalization of
the proceedings, it is in that context sub-para 10 of para 13 of
Kumari Madhuri Patil’s case (supra) stated that in case of any
delay in finalizing the proceedings by the Scrutiny Committee and
in the meanwhile last date for admission into an educational
institutions or appointment to an officer post is getting expired,
the candidate be admitted by the principal or such other authority
competent in that behalf or appointed on the basis of social status
certificate already issued or an affidavit duly sworn by the
parent/guardian/candidate before the competent officer or nonofficial and such admission or appointment should be only
provisional, subject to the result of the enquiry by the Scrutiny
Committee. In GM, Indian Bank (supra) this Court held that the
directions issued by the Judgment in Kumari Madhuri Patil’s
case (supra) would have a binding force of law. Page 15
15
15. We are in this case not concerned with any dispute that is
pending before the Scrutiny Committee, this is a case of total
non-compliance of the conditions stipulated in the notification
(information to the candidates) wherein it has been specifically
stated that a candidate claiming to be SC/ST/BC must have a
certificate in support of his/her claim from a competent authority
specified in the West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled
Tribes (Identification) Act, 1994.
16. In our view, the guidelines in in Kumari Madhuri Patil’s
case (supra) or the brochure issued by the Government of India,
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions,
Department of Personnel and Training, New Delhi would not
override the specific conditions stipulated in the notification
(information to the candidates) of compliance of the provisions of
the West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes
(Identification) Act, 1994. In such circumstances we find no error
in the decision taken by the Commission in not entertaining thePage 16
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application of the respondent as a member of the ST Community
due to non-production of the certificate from the competent
authority specified in the above-mentioned Act.
17. The appeal is accordingly allowed and the Judgment of
the High Court is set aside. However, we are inclined to record
the submission of the learned senior counsel, appearing for the
appellant that the respondent would be appointed as a judicial
officer in the West Bengal Judicial Service consequent to the
examination conducted in the year 2010 since he has produced
the Certificate issued by the competent authority under The West
Bengal Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Identification)
Act, 1994. Appeal is, therefore, allowed as above, however there
will be no order as to costs.
……………………………..J.
(K.S. Radhakrishnan)
……………………………..J.
(Dipak Misra)Page 17
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New Delhi,
May 3, 2013

 

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