CHENNAI: A division bench of Madras High Court ruled that after an anthropologist and the District Level Vigilance Cell (DLVC) has come to a decision on identifying the originality of the community certificates, the State Level Scrutiny Committee has no other option other than accepting the report.
Heading the bench along with Justice K Kumaresh Babu, Justice R Subramanian passed the direction on allowing a petition filed by J Nagesh, a resident from Trichy.
“It is clear that once the District Level Vigilance Cell concludes that the claim of the petitioner is genuine, the State Level Scrutiny Committee has to accept it and it has no power to proceed with further inquiry unless its records find that the report is fraudulent. Our search for such a reason in the order of the State Level Scrutiny Committee ends in vain. Almost all irrelevant material has been taken into account in support of the conclusion that the certificate is not genuine,” the bench ruled.
The petitioner prayed for a direction to set aside the December 29, 2021, decision of the State Level Scrutiny Committee concluding that the community certificate issued to the petitioner, certifying that he belongs to Hindu Kattunaikken, a Scheduled Tribe is not genuine.
However, the court ruled that the State Level Scrutiny Committee has transgressed its powers and its conclusions or more in breach of the directions of this court as well as the Supreme Court in matters relating to the verification of community certificates.
“In the cases of Kumari Madhuri Patil and G Venkitasamy Vs the Chairman, State Level Scrutiny Committee, Supreme Court had come to the conclusion after exhaustive analysis that if the report of the DLVC supports the claim of the candidate, the SLSC shall not proceed further, but, to pass the order, ” the judges added.
According to the petitioner, since he joined as an apprentice charge man with Railways under the quota reserved for STs, he was in a position to apply for a fresh Hindu Kattunaicken Scheduled Tribe certificate.
Even though he got the certificate from Trichy Taluk Tahsildar, the Railways wanted to check the originality. A Revenue Divisional Officer who verified the certificate came to a decision that it was not a genuine ST certificate. Therefore, the petitioner approached the HC and the court remanded the matter to RDO directing him to forward the matter to SLSC.
The SLSC formed DLVC and appointed an anthropologist to verify the genuineness of the certificate. Even though DLVC and anthropologist declared that Nagesh belongs to the ST Tribe, the SLSC further conducted an inquiry and declared the ST certificate issued to the petitioner is not genuine.