Surname no proof of ST status: Bombay HC

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  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Surname no proof of ST status: Bombay HC


    8 May 2009, 0349 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande, TNN


    MUMBAI: Putting an end to the conflicting views on whether a surname alone is sufficient proof to certify whether a person belongs to a Scheduled Tribe, the Bombay high court on Thursday held that the name per se was not enough to establish one’s caste. ‘‘An affinity test is necessary to verify the genuineness of the claim,’’ the court held.


    The court laid down strict norms to ensure that caste certificates for Scheduled Tribes were issued after stringent verification and that ‘‘impostors do not get away by pulling a fraud on the constitution’’. The court said, ‘‘The verification process should not be reduced to a mere mechanical exercise.’’


    A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar, Justice V C Daga and Justice D Y Chandrachood noted that Maharashtra had witnessed an unprecedented rise in the ST population and in the number of fraudulent ST claims. It said that "the mere fact that a surname like Thakur or Son Koli is synonymous with the name of a designated tribe is not sufficient to establish that it belongs to the tribe. It would lead to grave injustice to other genuine claimants. They must demonstrate that they belong to a scheduled tribe.’’


    Surname no proof of ST status: Bombay HC - India - The Times of India
     
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  3. Auberon

    Auberon Regular Member

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    They'v made this ruling now?
    Darn, people have had to attach SC/ST/OBC cert. of benefits right since the "+ve discrimination" trend was started.
     
  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Auberon, within the context of the Bombay HC and Maharashtra, as per Section 3 of the Maharashtra Scheduled Tribes (Regulation of Issuance and Verification of) Certificate Rules, 2003, any person belonging to a SC/ST, nomadic or denotified tribe, or OBC/SBC is required to furnish a 'Caste Certificate' in order to obtain the benefit of reservation to a 'competent' authority, which in turn is subject to verification by the 'Scrutiny Committee'- government committees constituted under the 'Official Gazette' - and valid only upon being provided with a 'Validity certificate' by the said committee. Now to obtain the 'Caste certificate' requires the prospective 'reservee' to submit an application in Form-A to an officer of the (supposedly :blum3:) 'competent' authority, accompanied by an affidavit duly sworn before the authorised officer or a court of law, including documents such as:


    - Transcript or extract of Birth Register pertaining to the applicant, his father, or most immediate paternal relatives
    - Transcript or extract of Primary School Admission
    - Original or copy of Primary School Graduation Certificate of the Applicant and that of his father
    - Other documentary evidence in regard to the claimed Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe/ Other Backward Caste/ Nomadic Tribe/ Denotified Tribe or Special Backward Class.
    - An extract or transcript of the service record specifying the applicant's father's caste/tribe or that of his immediate blood relatives holding government or other institutional service positions.
    - The Validity Certificate (from the Scrutiny Committee), if one has been provided, of the father, any of his brothers or any of the other most immediate paternal relatives.
    - Revenue or Gramin Panchaayat record, if any, or any other documentary evidence that can substantiate the claim of association to any one of the recognized scheduled castes or tribes.


    The provisos are therefore rigorous and aplenty. However in practice, as is often the case with things in our beloved country, regulations are overlooked and/or altogether eschewed- so that it is not uncommon for the apathetic bureaucrat to draw conclusions on caste-affinities and issue 'Caste certificates' based on surnames alone, and for equally callous Scrutiny Committees to accept these issues without due verification. The result, exacerbated by what you refer to as the "+ve discrimination trend", is that such protocol has become endemic within the system, and consequently was beginning to become increasingly exploited by people seeking the easiest route to institutional ingress on the back of a reservation.


    It is in the backdrop of this system that the High Court directive was issued, stringent laws stipulated vis-a-vis verification, and attached "affinity tests" made mandatory. it is also the reason for the statement: ‘‘The verification process should not be reduced to a mere mechanical exercise.’’


    Interestingly, any person contesting an election, or holding statutory office, deemed to have falsified a caste certificate, or to have had his validity certificate' revoked or denied on legitimate grounds by the Scrutiny Committee is held to immediately have his election terminated retrospectively. So much for all those babus and bureaucrats falsifying their 'backward' castes!
     
  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Agree with RAGE here, and in my opinion the policy started for resulting some thing good for the downtrodden , poor people and who were discriminated by the name of cast but rather quota system turned out to be exploited by the vested Interest. I saw with my personal experience that the poor remains poor and discriminated by cast and the rich falsely claiming and manipulated to get benefit of 'Quota' system.

    Regards
     
  6. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Thank you Pintu, but my point was to draw a distinction between theory and practice, not to judge the providence of the system itself. We have, generally speaking, fine laws in this country; where we're lacking somewhat is in their implementation. The directive of the HC was to bridge that gap between theory and practice.
     

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