A Delhi court has ruled that only parliament can modify the list of reserved communities, while upholding a magisterial court’s order that awarded punishment to a man who misrepresented himself as a Scheduled Caste for getting a government job.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge P.S. Teji, while setting aside a revision petition filed by the accused Ritu Pran, said: “Parliament can include or exclude from the list of Scheduled Tribes any tribes or tribal community.”
It is a settled law that a tribe or tribal community can be added to the list of reserved communities only by way of notification in the official gazette, ruled the court.
Ritu Pran, hailing from Bihar, had secured a job as darkroom assistant in the Government of India Press, Mayapuri – a post meant for reserved category candidates – by using a fake caste certificate.
Judge Teji accepted the judgment passed by the additional chief metropolitan magistrate, which had awarded Pran three years’ imprisonment and slapped a 5,000-rupee fine on him in January 2011.
Judge Teji, in a judgement passed last week and accessed , took note that convict Pran at the time of appointment in the job submitted the fake caste certificate saying he belongs to the Kharwar caste and claimed it comes under the reserved category.
The judge observed that investigations revealed the certificate submitted was never issued by a competent authority and Pran belonged not to the Kharwar caste but the Kamkar caste, which comes under the category of backward classes in Bihar.
“In view of the above discussion, I am of the considered opinion that the accused/appellant (Pran) belongs to the Kamkar community which is the other backward class community and not Kharwar community, which is not even found in the state of Bihar,” said the court.
The court put aside Pran’s plea that he was a minor at the time of issuance of his caste certificate to his grandparents from the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) in Saran, Chapra, Bihar, in February 1990. The convict had requested the court that he could not be held guilty for it as he was a minor at that time.
The court also relied upon the testimony of various witnesses, including the ADM and other officials posted in Saran in 1990. The officials deposed that no certificate was issued stating that the Kharwar community belongs to the reserved category.
“From the material on record, it also stands proved that accused/appellant (Pran) secured the job on the basis of forged and fabricated caste certificate by using the same as genuine knowing it to be false and fabricated with a view to cheating the government,” said the court.