The Bombay High Court has reiterated that once caste validity certificate is granted on proper scrutiny to close blood relations, it ought to be relied upon for verifying caste claim of other blood relations from the paternal side.
The bench of Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice Manish Pitale was hearing a writ petition filed by two brothers, Mukesh Bastav and Vilas Bastav, who challenged the decision of the caste scrutiny committee which held the earlier certificate issued to the petitioners as invalid.
The petitioners were issued a certificate on June 20, 1994, by an executive magistrate. According to the certificate, the petitioners belong to the Mahadeo Koli caste in the Scheduled Tribe category.
The petitioners got their respective jobs on the basis of these certificates. Mukesh was appointed as a postal assistant with the Superintendent of Postal Services and Vilas got a job with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Then, the scrutiny committee after evaluating the said certificates, held in an order dated January 6, 2009, that the petitioners had failed to prove their claim of belonging to the Mahadeo Koli caste and invalidated their certificates.
Although the same caste claims by the petitioners’ own sister, their first cousin and uncle were validated by the high court itself in separate judgments, the court noted that the scrutiny committee decided to treat all these cases individually and did not take any of the judgments into consideration before invalidating the caste claim of the petitioners.
“A person inherits caste / tribe from the paternal side and if genealogy of the family is not in dispute and the record shows that caste validity certificates have been issued to close blood relations on the paternal side, which have attained finality, there is no reason why claims made on the basis of such validity certificates cannot be granted. It would be a travesty if the claim of each and every blood relation is put to scrutiny and verification by the Scrutiny Committee repeatedly despite caste validity certificates of close blood relations available on record,” the court said.
Thus, after citing previous judgments of the high court, especially in the case of Ashwini Vilas Chavan, Petitioner Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors, the bench concluded:“It is clear that when caste validity certificates have been granted to close blood relations on the paternal side, the claims of other close relations ought to be upheld.”
Therefore, the scrutiny committee’s order was quashed and set aside and the committee was directed to issue a valid certificate within four weeks.