An Ex-Sarpanch of a village in Haryana whose scheduled caste certificate was cancelled has approached the Apex Court seeking to retain his 'Julaha' Caste Status.
The petitione, Mohan Kumar, was elected to the post of Sarpanch reserved for Scheduled Caste, on the basis of Scheduled Caste Certificate. Following complaints, the National Commission for Scheduled Caste ordered for an investigation in the complaint by a three member committee. The committee found that certificate of Scheduled Caste was obtained by him only on the basis that he was working as weaver (Julaha) and not on the basis of the caste to which he belongs to i.e. Arora Khatri Caste (General Category). It then submitted reported to Deputy Commissioner, Yamuna that Mohan Kumar does not belong to the Scheduled Caste but belongs to Arora Khatri Caste which falls in General category.
He challenged this order of the Committee and the consequent order of Naib Tehsildar cancelling caste certificate before the Punjab and Haryana High Court which upheld it by observing that he did not explain how his entire family including himself got admission in the Govt. Model Senior Secondary School in the General Category as Arora Khatri and not as a Scheduled Caste.
Assailing the High Court judgment before the Apex Court Bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran, Senior Advocate Rajive Bhalla, on behalf of Mohan Kumar, submitted that he is more concerned about his status rather than the election as Sarpanch to the concerned Gram Panchayat. He submitted that if determination by the Committee is to be the final word, the entire family and future generations of the petitioner would be deprived of the status of being "Julaha".
Challenging the order of the Committee, he also raised the following contentions: (a) In terms of the directions issued by this Court in Kumari Madurai Patil and another vs. Additional Commissioner, Tribal Development and Others [1984 (6)SCC 241], a Committee was constituted by the State only on 23.04.2019. ` (b) The committee that went into the status of the petitioner and the question whether he belonged to the community of "Julaha", was not properly constituted.
The bench then issued notice limited to the questions whether Mohan Kumar and his family come from the community of "Julaha" and whether the Committee which went into the question was properly constituted or not. The court clarified that pendency of this matter shall not have any impact or effect upon the election as Sarpanch to the Gram Panchayat.
Case name: Mohan Kumar vs. State of Haryana
Case no.: SLP(C) No. 6649/2020