The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that those using fake caste certificates to avail quota for admissions to educational institutions or getting government jobs must lose the benefit the moment the forgery is discovered.
Despite clear directions from the SC to adopt “zero tolerance” against those using fake certificates to illegally usurp seats in educational institutions and government jobs, there have been instances where HCs have permitted such persons to continue in their jobs because they had put in several years in service. In other instances, HCs have permitted students to complete studies after paying fine for using fake caste certificate to gain entry into educational institutions.
Settling a major issue in determining castes which belong to the scheduled category in Maharashtra, a bench of CJI J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said leniency by the HCs must stop forthwith as those who used fake caste certificates had criminal intent to usurp the benefits reserved for persons belonging to oppressed and socially and educationally backward communities.
Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Chandrachud said leniency to such people would amount to depriving a genuine beneficiary of his/her dues. He said the person found usurping benefits with fake caste certificate must face prosecution.
The issue for consideration before the bench arose from Maharashtra, where a full bench of the Bombay HC had held that even when the caste certificate was invalidated by the SC, the person who used this to get the job could continue in service considering the long period he had spent in the job. This judgment had a spiralling effect as smaller benches followed this to grant similar benefit.
Setting aside Bombay HC’s judgment, the SC bench reminded HCs that in 1994, the SC had cancelled the admission of one Kumari Madhuri Patil midway through her BDS course after the scrutiny committee found her caste certificate to be forged.
“It is true that the applications for admission to educational institutions are generally made by a parent, since on that date many a time the student may be a minor. It is the parent or the guardian who may play fraud claiming false status certificate. It is, therefore, necessary that the certificates issued are scrutinised at the earliest and with utmost expedition and promptitude.”
The court had also laid down a procedure for fast scrutiny of caste certificates. “In case the certificate obtained or social status claimed is found to be false, the parent/guardian/candidate should be prosecuted for making false claim. If the prosecution ends in a conviction and sentence of the accused, it could be regarded as an offence involving moral turpitude, disqualification for elective posts or offices under the state or the Union or elections to any local body, legislature or Parliament,” it had said.
Courtesy: Times of India