Upholding the decision of the Supreme Court in Anand vs Committee for Scrutiny and Verification of Tribe Claims and Ors, the Bombay High Court has held that pre-constitutional documents have a higher degree of probative value while considering the caste claim of a candidate.
A bench of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai was hearing a writ petition filed by three men from Nashik whose caste claim was invalidated by the member secretary of the Scheduled Caste Scrutiny Committee.
It was the claim of Sunil Hansraj Magul, his two sons Mayur and Utkarsh that they belong to the Thakur Scheduled Caste. This claim was rejected by applying the affinity test.
The bench noted:“Perusal of the material placed on record reveals that the Petitioners have produced on record a document pertaining to Grandfather Hansraj Bagul, which is of the year 1939. The document shows the caste of Hansaraj to be Thakur. His date of birth is 8.12.1930 and the date of admission in Zilla Parishad Primary School Vidyamandir, Virane, to be 13.2.1939.”
The court observed that the apex court in the case of Anand vs. Committee for Scrutiny and Verification of Tribe Claims and Ors, has held that pre-constitutional documents will have higher degree of probative value while considering the claim of the candidate.
It was further noted that another member of the petitioner’s family, Malhari Khandu Bagul had been held as belonging to the Thakur Scheduled Caste by a judgment of the high court in 2013.
Therefore, it was held and declared that the petitioners belong to the said caste and the scrutiny committee was directed to issue a validity certificate to the petitioners within four weeks.