4 Nov 2022 12:15 PM GMT
A migrant from Uttar Pradesh is not entitled to any benefits meant for OBC candidates in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court reiterated and upheld the invalidation of a Nationalist Congress Party candidate Naziya Ansari's caste certificate. "She being a migrant after the deemed date was not entitled to contest elections in Maharashtra," the bench said. The court also found that Ansari...
A migrant from Uttar Pradesh is not entitled to any benefits meant for OBC candidates in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court reiterated and upheld the invalidation of a Nationalist Congress Party candidate Naziya Ansari's caste certificate.
"She being a migrant after the deemed date was not entitled to contest elections in Maharashtra," the bench said. The court also found that Ansari had produced "fabricated documents" and was guilty of defrauding the court, and therefore imposed cost of Rs. 50,000.
Ansari won a seat reserved for Backward Class Women from the 78th ward during the BMC elections in February, 2017. She fought on an NCP ticket. However, on a complaint by a Shiv Sena candidate Neha Shaikh, the Caste Certificate Scrutiny Committee invalidated her caste certificate on August 27, 2019.
She approached the High Court seeking to quash the committee's order in a plea under Article 226 of the Constitution. Ansari claims to be from the Muslim Julaha community carrying out weaving occupation.
Her counsel Uday Warunjikar told the court that the Committee invalidated her caste certificate wrongly relying on documents produced by the Sena candidate, instead of relying on the vigilance officers report that her ancestors belonged to the weaver community. He argued that she should have been given an opportunity of further hearing.
Advocate RK Mendadkar for Shaikh supported the Committee's decision. He submitted that the petitioner had produced a fake certificate to prove her caste. Through Ansari's father was born in Uttar Pradesh, she had produced a birth certificate showing he was born in Bhiwandi.
"…As per Rule 3 of the Maharashtra Scheduled Castes, De-notified Tribes (Vimukta Jatis), Nomadic Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Special Backward Category (Regulation of Issuance and Verification of) Caste Certificate Rules, 2012 (for short "MSCC Rules) the petitioner ought to have applied where her father or grandfather or great grandfather resided i.e. in UP and not in Maharashtra," the respondent argued.
According to Rule 13 (d) of the MSCC Rules, Ansari should've proved she was born in Maharashtra.
At the outset the court noted that Ansari was given a chance in an earlier round of litigation to prove her ancestors belonged to the backward class in UP and migrated to Maharashtra before the cut off date. It noted that Ansari was unable to produce any document dated prior to 13th October 1967 showing caste of any of the blood relatives as "Julah" in the State of Maharashtra.
"On this ground itself the petitioner was not entitled to the issuance of the caste certificate from the State of Maharashtra and consequently the benefits and concessions meant for OBC candidates in the State of Maharashtra as held by the Supreme Court in the case of Bir Singh (supra)." [Bir Singh v. Delhi Jal Board & Ors.]
The Central Excise Department informed the vigilance officer that records were destroyed.
"In our view, entertaining a petitioner who has knowingly produced fabricated and fraudulent documents to substantiate a false claim cannot be tolerated at any stage. We have no hesitation to say that a person, who's case is based on falsehood, has no right to approach the Court. The petitioner is guilty of playing fraud on the Court as well as on the opposite party. In our view, we find no infirmity to set aside the order dated 27th August 2019 passed by respondent no. 2. The Petition is dismissed with costs of Rs. 50,000/- to be paid to the respondent no.1. Rule is discharged. Parties to act on the authenticated copy of this order," the bench ordered.
Case Title: Naziya Banu Abdul Hafiz Ansari versus State of Maharashtra and Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 427
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