15 March 2023 12:45 PM GMT
The Madras High Court recently imposed ten thousand rupees cost on a Revenue Divisional Officer/Sub Divisional Magistrate who had rejected the community certificate for two kids belonging to the Kattunayakan community. The cost was imposed on a plea by the kid’s mother seeking to quash the rejection order and to direct the authorities to issue the community certificate. In the...
The Madras High Court recently imposed ten thousand rupees cost on a Revenue Divisional Officer/Sub Divisional Magistrate who had rejected the community certificate for two kids belonging to the Kattunayakan community.
The cost was imposed on a plea by the kid’s mother seeking to quash the rejection order and to direct the authorities to issue the community certificate. In the present case, the mother of the kids belonged to the Kattunayakan Community (a Scheduled Tribe community) while their father belonged to the Pallar Community (a Scheduled Caste community).
The bench of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy took note of two Government Orders passed by the State in 1975 and 2021 which clarifies that when a child is born out of marriage between parents of two different caste, the children would be considered to belong to either of the caste based on the declaration by parents.
The court further observed that in the present case, the petitioner and her father were issued Kattunayakan community certificate by the authorities. Further, when the mother had already given an undertaking that she belonged to the Kattunayakan community and that her kids be issued the same community certificate, the RDO should not have refused to issue the same. The court added that the RDO, who was expected to redress the grievances of the citizens, had neglected his duty.
When the 2nd respondent who has been always dealing with the issues like the one brought before this Court, he is expected to know the Government Orders issued by the Government in the matter of issuance of Community Certificate. The second respondent Revenue Divisional Officer having been entrusted with solemn obligation to redress the grievance of the citizens, appears to have neglected the said duty.
The court added that the officer could have easily unearthed the truth regarding the community status of the kids by initiating a summary enquiry. He failed to understand that such arbitrary refusal of genuine prayer results in unnecessary litigation. Thus, the court was inclined to order a cost of fifty thousand rupees on the officer.
When the aforementioned two Government Orders are all clearly guiding to ascertain whether the petitioner belongs to Kattunaicken community, the application of the petitioner could have been easily disposed of. This exercise, in our view, regrettably has not been discharged. Therefore, we are inclined to impose the cost of Rs.50,000/- to the second respondent.
However, at the request of the Additional Government Pleader, the court reduced this cost to ten thousand rupees payable to the Legal Aid Service Authority and quashed the rejection orders passed by the revenue divisional officer. The court further remitted the matter back to the officer for fresh consideration and to pass orders accordingly.
Case Title: S Nithya v. The District Collector and others
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 90