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Marriage To Another Caste Not Relevant For Claiming Reservation Under Article 16(4) : Kerala High Court Reiterates

Hannah M Varghese
4 April 2022 8:00 AM GMT
Marriage To Another Caste Not Relevant For Claiming Reservation Under Article 16(4) : Kerala High Court Reiterates
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The Kerala High Court recently reiterated that the marriage of an individual from one caste to another as permitted by law has no relevance for the purpose of claiming the benefit of reservation under Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India.Observing so, Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan allowed the plea moved by a woman who had challenged the order rejecting her application for a caste...

The Kerala High Court recently reiterated that the marriage of an individual from one caste to another as permitted by law has no relevance for the purpose of claiming the benefit of reservation under Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India.

Observing so, Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan allowed the plea moved by a woman who had challenged the order rejecting her application for a caste certificate citing that she had married to another caste, and thus not eligible for the same. 

The petitioner, who belongs to the Latin Catholic community, married a person belonging to the Roman Catholic community in 2005. Meanwhile, she obtained an appointment through PSC for the post of LP School teacher. 

Therefore, the petitioner applied for a caste certificate but it was rejected stating that she had married a man belonging to the Syro Malabar Syrian Catholic and therefore, she was not entitled to the Latin Catholic status. Aggrieved by the same, the petitioner moved the Court. 

When the matter was initially taken up, the Court granted interim relief to the petitioner directing the concerned Tahsildar and Village Officer to issue Caste and Non-Creamy Layer Certificates provisionally, subject to the outcome of the writ petition.

The Court noted that as per her Secondary School Leaving Certificate, it was clear that the petitioner belongs to the Christian Latin Catholic community.

Further, it was observed that the matter was squarely covered by a Full Bench decision of this Court in Kerala Pattikajathi Samrakshana Samithi & Anr v. State of Kerala & Ors [1995 KHC 537]

In that decision, the Full Bench had observed that adoption, marriage and conversion of faith of an individual from one caste to another as permitted by law have no relevance for the purpose of claiming the benefit of reservation under Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India.

The Judge also noted that the Apex Court had considered this point in Sunita Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh [AIR (2018) SC 566] as well.

Therefore, it was held that the order rejecting the petitioner's application will not stand. Accordingly, the interim order was made absolute and the petition was allowed. 

The Village Officer was directed to issue the caste certificate to the petitioner showing that the petitioner belongs to Christian Latin Catholic, as expeditiously as possible within two weeks. 

Advocates D. Kishore, Meera Gopinath, R. Muraleekrishnan and Arya Joseph appeared for the petitioner while the respondent was represented by Senior Government Pleader Deepa Narayanan.

Case Title: Beksy A v. District Collector & Ors.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 160

Click Here To Read/Download The Order 

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