Justice SM Subramaniam held this on hearing a petition by S Paulraj a resident of Salem camp in Mettur.
“In the present case, admittedly the petitioner belongs to Christian Adi-Dravidar, which is also a Schedule Caste community and by virtue of conversion to Christianity he was issued with the Backward Class Certificate. The wife of the petitioner admittedly is a Scheduled Caste. When both the petitioner and his wife belongs to the Scheduled Caste community by birth, merely because the petitioner by virtue of conversion changed the religion would not entail him to get the inter-caste marriage certificate,” the judge ruled.
The petitioner submitted that he has converted to the Christian religion and got a Backward Class certificate. He said that he had married a girl named G Amutha, who belongs to the SC Arunthathiyar community. Therefore, the petitioner applied for an inter-caste marriage certificate from the Tahsildar, Mettur Taluk. However, the Tahsildar denied issuing the inter-caste marriage certificate citing the applicant also from the SC- Adi Dravida caste. Therefore, Paulraj moved the HC challenging Tahsildar’s decision.
C Jayaprakash, the government advocate submitted that the government has issued a clarification that conversion of religion would not entail a person to get an inter-caste marriage certificate.
“The State government had issued a clarification in letter No.235, Social Welfare Department dated 21.07.1997. As per the said clarification, change of religion could not be a ground to grant inter-caste marriage certificate,” the government advocate argued.
On recording the submissions, the HC dismissed the petition.