IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY,
AURANGABAD BENCH, AURANGABAD
WRIT PETITION NO. 6854 OF 2007
1 Seema d/o Suryakant Mitkari,
age minor, occ. Student,
through her father
Shri Suryakant s/o Narhari Mitkari,
age 50 years, occ. Agril.,
r/o Chinchgavan, Tq. Majalgaon
District Beed. ....Petitioner VERSUS
1 The State of Maharashtra,
through its Secretary,
Department of Social Welfare,
2 Divisional Caste Scrutiny
For SC.VJ-NT, OBC & SBC
3 The Sub-Divisional Magistrate,
4 The Directorate of Technical Education, Maharashtra State, 3, Mahapalika Marg,
Opp. Metro Cinema,
Mumbai 400 001. ...Respondents 2
Shri S.R.Bharad, advocate for h/f
Shri V.D.Salunke, advocate for the petitioner Shri S.K.Kadam, A.G.P. for respondent nos. 1, 3 and 4 Shri C.K.Shinde, advocate for respondent no.2. .....
CORAM : NARESH H. PATIL
SHRIHARI P.DAVARE, JJ.
DATED : 30th November, 2010
ORAL JUDGMENT : (Per Shrihari P. Davare, J. ) 1 Rule. Rule made returnable forthwith. With the consent of the learned counsel for the parties, the petition is taken up for final hearing at the admission stage itself.
2 By the present petition, filed by the petitioner under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner prayed for issuance of appropriate writ or directions to quash and set aside the order dated 13.8.2007, passed by respondent no.2 Divisional Caste Scrutiny Verification Committee, Aurangabad.
3 The petitioner is a student pursuing education of Electrical Engineer in Mahatma Basaweshwar Education Societies College of 3
Engineering at Ambejogai and claims to be belonging to the caste 'Lingader' notified as Scheduled Caste-34 recognized under the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order, 1950.
4 Respondent no.1 is the State of Maharashtra, represented through its Secretary, Department of Social Welfare, Mantralaya, Mumbai and respondent no.2 is the Divisional Caste Scrutiny Verification Committee for SC, VJ-NT, OBC & SBC, Aurangabad; whereas respondent no.3 is the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Beed, and respondent no.4 is the Directorate of Technical Education, Maharashtra State, Mumbai.
FACTUAL MATRIX :-
5 Briefly stated, the facts leading to the present petition, are as follows :-
According to the petitioner, respondent no.3 Sub- Divisional Magistrate, Beed i.e. competent authority under law, issued caste certificate to the petitioner on 5.7.2005 that the petitioner belongs to Lingader (34) caste and copy of the said certificate is produced at Exh. 'A' (Page 13). The Principal of Arts, Commerce and Science, Majalgaon forwarded the said caste claim 4
of the petitioner to respondent no.2 Caste Verification Committee in the year 2005-06 for verification. However, respondent no.2 Committee invalidated caste claim of the petitioner by order dated 31.10.2006. Hence, the petitioner filed Writ Petition No. 7632 of 2006 before this court and by order dated 7.6.2007, this court remanded the matter to respondent no.2 Committee for re- consideration and copy of the said order is produced at Exh. 'B' (Page 14).
6 The petitioner remained present before respondent no.2 Committee on 19.6.2007 as per the directions of this court and produced about 41 documents in support of his caste claim. Respondent no.2 by letter dated 22.6.2007 asked the petitioner to submit the translation of Modi script documents and the petitioner on 6.7.2007 submitted the translation of documents dated 6.3.1933, 4.4.1935, 4.2.1935 and 3.2.1938, and copy of the acknowledgment along with the translated copies are annexed at Exh. 'C' collectively (Page 17). However, respondent no.2 Committee again invalidated the caste claim of the petitioner by passing the order dated 13.8.2007, which is impugned in the present petition. 5
7 Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that respondent no.2 Committee discarded the above referred old documents produced by the petitioner on the ground of non- registration, and consequently, invalidated the social status claim of the petitioner without application of mind and without proper consideration of the afore said documents. Learned counsel for the petitioner also argued that respondent no.2 Committee failed to appreciate the old documents produced at Exh. 'C' herein, which pertain to the grand-father and great-grand-father of the petitioner, which possess the higher probative value than the others. It was canvassed by the learned counsel for the petitioner that respondent no.2 Committee also failed to consider and appreciate the judgment and order cited by her before the Committee and placed reliance on the case of Sarangappa s/o Siddeshwarappa vs State of Maharashtra, reported at 2002 (3) Mh.L.J. 290, wherein it is held that :-
" 5. A document, which is admittedly written on a stamp paper issued by the Government of India and styled as a "Partition Deed" was produced before the Caste Scrutiny Committee. The document is in "Urdu" and its true translation was produced, in which the 6
caste of the executant, who is stated to be grand father of the petitioner's father, is shown as "Mala Jangam". The translation is not disputed by the respondents. The Scrutiny Committee did not place reliance on it because no date was written on that document. However, on the stamp paper itself, the year of printing of the Stamp Paper is inscribed as "1939". This means that the stamp paper was purchased in the year 1939 or thereabout. The partition deed, which is written on the stamp paper purchased in the year 1939 would generally be of the year 1939 or thereabout. This document is executed long prior to the Presidential Declaration of 1950 declaring "Mala Jangam" as a scheduled caste. Thus, long prior to the Presidential Declaration, petitioner's great grand father was described as belonging to "Mala Jangam" caste. The Scrutiny Committee, therefore, clearly erred in not placing reliance on that document. Another reason for the Scrutiny Committee in not placing reliance on this document is that the document is not registered. The inquiry before the Caste Scrutiny Committee was not regarding the validity or otherwise of the document of partition deed. The document is admittedly written on a Government Stamp Paper purchased in the year 1939. The Caste Scrutiny Committee, therefore, erred in not relying upon this partition deed, which describes the caste of the petitioner's great grand father as "Mala Jangam". "
8 To substantiate the contention of the petitioner, learned counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on the case of Rajesh 7
Jagdishrao Gode vs State of Maharashtra & ors., reported at 2007 (Supp.) Bom.C.R.233, wherein it is held that :- " 6. We have perused original document made available for ready reference by learned counsel for the petitioner. The age of the paper and the ink (document is laminated) does not create any doubt in our mind nor Scrutiny Committee has expressed any doubt about this document. The Scrutiny Committee has rejected this document on the sole ground that this is an unregistered document. We find the reason of the Scrutiny Committee to be inadequate to reject this document in toto. The learned counsel has also produced for our perusal one additional document and we have perused that after giving Advocate Shri Deshmukh an opportunity to peruse the same. It seems to be a document on a stamp paper of Rs.3.50 executed by Tahsildar, Aurangabad on or around 4-10-1972 by which petitioner is allowed permission to construct house on certain land at Mukundwadi. In this document, name of father of petitioner is recorded as Shri Jagdish Malharrao - Mahadeo Koli. We feel these two documents one which is referred by Committee and one which is not referred by the Committee, to be quite weighty where caste of grand- father of the petitioner was recorded as Mahadeo Koli on the first occasion and that of his father was recorded as Mahadeo Koli on the second occasion. On the first occasion while recording an agreement between private parties and on the second occasion while recording grant by Government in favour of father of petitioner. We feel these documents to be 8
more weighty than the documents those dropped up in the mind of Scrutiny Committee on the basis of birth date certificate of brother of petitioner. " 9 Learned counsel for the petitioner also placed reliance on the case of Vaijnath s/o Janardhan Zunjar vs Scrutiny Committee for Verification of Tribe Claims, Aurangabad and another, reported at 2006 (3) Mh.L.J. 536, wherein it is held that :- " 13. In the present case, the Committee has not considered probative value of the documents produced by the petitioner merely on the ground that they belong to Post-Presidential Notification era. The report of home enquiry is also not properly appreciated by the Committee. Considering the fact that right from the Primary stage till the graduation the petitioner is shown to belong to Mahadeo Koli Tribe and the fact that the petitioner has given correct information in respect of some of the important traits and characteristics, we cannot sustain invalidation of the tribe claim of the petitioner by the Committee, particularly when no contra material is brought on record during the home enquiry conducted by the Vigilance Cell. In these circumstances, interference with finding of the Committee is justified. " 10 Accordingly, the learned counsel for the petitioner urged that the impugned order dated 13.8.2007 passed by respondent no.2 Committee invalidating the social status claim of the petitioner is 9
unsustainable and erroneous and same be quashed and set aside. 11 Learned counsel for the respondents opposed the present petition vehemently and countered the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner and submitted that it is pertinent to note that the petitioner has not produced original documents which are referred hereinabove i.e. documents dated 6.3.1933, 4.4.1935, 4.2.1935 and 3.2.1938 before respondent no.2 Committee, but simply produced the translations thereof, as reflected in the impugned order passed by respondent no.2 Committee on 13.8.2007, and therefore, submitted that respondent no.2 Committee rightly rejected the mere translations of afore said documents. 12 Moreover, it is also canvassed by learned counsel for the respondents that the above referred documents are not registered and even the said documents are not on the stamp paper, and therefore, probative value of the said documents comes in peril and the observations made in the afore said Rulings, cited by the learned counsel for the petitioner, cannot be of any aid and assistance to the petitioner herein.
13 Learned counsel for the respondents also argued that the petitioner has not produced any validity certificate on record of her 10
blood relatives to substantiate her alleged social status claim, nor the petitioner produced any document prior to the year 1950 in support of her caste claim.
14 Learned counsel for the respondents further canvassed that the petitioner's father's caste certificate of the year 1960 produced by her does not disclose the caste of her father as Lingader, and therefore, the petitioner also cannot be construed to be belonging to the said caste. Accordingly, learned counsel for the respondents supported the impugned order dated 13.8.2007 passed by respondent no.2 Committee and submitted that no interference therein is warranted. Accordingly, it is urged that respondent no.2 Committee has considered all the documents produced before it and passed a reasoned order and no interference therein is warranted in the writ jurisdiction.
15 We have perused the contents of the present petition, its annexures, impugned order dated 13.8.2007 and considered the submissions advanced by the respective parties anxiously. At the out set, it is seen that while remitting back the caste claim of the petitioner, this Court by order dated 7.6.2007 passed in Writ Petition 11
No. 7632 of 2006, directed that the petitioner shall furnish legible copies of all documents and also submit original documents in her possession, and in the event original documents not being available, it would be for the petitioner to establish the authenticity of the copies/Xerox copies thereof in accordance with law and respondent no.2 Committee was directed to reconsider the petitioner's caste claim for verification. However, it is significant to note that the petitioner has not produced the original documents, such as partition deed dated 6.3.1933, munafa letter dated 4.4.1935, sale deed dated 4.2.1935 and sale deed dated 3.2.1938, which were in Modi script, but simply produced the copies of translations thereof. 16 Thus, it is amply clear that the afore said original documents in Modi script were not before respondent no.2 Committee and whatever documents produced by the petitioner before respondent no.2 Committee, were the translations thereof which are not on the stamp paper, as well as the afore said documents were not even registered in the Government office, and hence, although by order dated 7.6.2007 passed by this court in Writ Petition No. 7632 of 2006, while remanding back the matter to respondent no.2 Committee, it was directed to the petitioner to furnish legible copies of all the documents and also original documents and in the event of original documents being not 12
available, it was incumbent upon the petitioner to establish the authenticity of the copies/Xerox copies thereof in accordance with law, but the petitioner failed to establish the authenticity of the copies thereof in accordance with law, and therefore, the observations made by respondent no.2 Committee in that respect cannot be faulted with, and consequently, ratios laid down in the afore cited cases by the learned counsel for the petitioner cannot come to the rescue of the petitioner.
17 Moreover, it is also material to note that the petitioner has not produced the caste validity certificate of her blood relatives to substantiate her social status claim as Lingader Scheduled Caste,. Apart from that, document no.4 produced by the petitioner, as referred in the impugned order dated 13.8.2007 i.e. the School Leaving Certificate of the petitioner's father namely Suryakant Narhari Mitkari dated 20.7.1960 does not disclose his caste as Lingader. Admittedly, petitioner's caste flows from her father, but the said School Leaving Certificate of her father is silent in respect of his caste as Lingader, which clinches the issue in controversy. 18 Accordingly, after having the comprehensive view of the matter, we do not find any infirmity or apparent error or perversity in the impugned order dated 13.8.2007 passed by respondent no.2 13
Committee, and therefore, no interference therein is called for under the extra ordinary jurisdiction of this Court, and hence, present petition deserves to be rejected.
19 In the result, the present petition, which is sans merits, stands dismissed. Rule stands discharged accordingly. No order as to costs.
(SHRIHARI P. DAVARE, J.) (NARESH H.PATIL, J.)