1. Rule. Heard finally with the consent of parties.
2. The petitioner herein seeks a writ of mandamus to direct the Dean, Thanjavur Medical College, Thanjavur, Director of Medical Education, Madras-5 and State of Tamil Nadu rep. by its Commissioner and Secretary, Health, Fort St. George, Madras- 9, respondents 2, 3 and 4 herein to issue CRRI Completion and MBBS Provisional Pass Certificate so that the petitioner can register her name with the Tamil Nadu Medical Council, Madras, the 5th respondent herein. The following factual panorama would help to understand the controversy:-
3. The petitioner claims to be belonging to the scheduled castes. She has been declared passed in MBBS Course and has also completed her House Surgeon Course in the year 1994. However, the course completion certificate is being refused on the ground that there is a criminal case pending against her vide: Crime No.5 of 1996 for the commission of offences under Section 465, 468, 471, IPC on the ground that she had given a false community certificate in 1983 while joining the MBBS Course. According to the petitioner, the case of the prosecution therein is not, that the certificate is forged, but the case is that the certificate is based on the misrepresentation made by the petitioner regarding her caste. It is noteworthy that the said criminal prosecution has been initiated in the year 1986. The petitioner claims that she was required to file a Writ Petition No.1749 of 1984 as the petitioner was sought to be removed from the roll of the college as her claim of belonging to the Scheduled Caste was found to be incorrect. It is again noteworthy that the directions to that effect were given by the authorities namely, Director of Medical Education and the Commissioner and Secretary, Health Department. Those directions were not even communicated to the petitioner and the resultant action was challenged by the petitioner in the petition as has earlier been pointed out. Along with that Writ Petition, WMP No.2267 of 1986 was also filed to stay the operation of the impugned order to enable the petitioner to continue the course in the Medical College in question. The relief sought for in the said WMP was granted on 22.2.1984 and interim stay has been made absolute by the order dated 19.3.1993. In the meantime, the petitioner completed her MBBS Course under the orders of this Court. When the writ petition came up for final hearing, the court took the view that it would be futile to embark upon an adjudication of the issues raised and proceeded to
hold that as the petitioner had completed her course, a clarification could be given that the prospects of the petitioner should not be interfered with in any manner on account of the expulsion order of the first respondent therein viz., Dean, Tanjore Medical College, Tanjore-4 alone. The Court further took the view that nothing further survived and the writ petition should be disposed of as infructuous. Very strangely this Course was not objected to by the respondents nor was it insisted upon the Court to test the veracity of the Caste/Community Certificate which was in fact the appeal of discord. Eventually, the petitioner finished not only her MBBS Course but also her House Surgeon Course and thereafter applied for the certificates which certificates were refused to her necessitating the present writ petition.
4. The petitioner additionally alleges that though born to a Dalit Christian, the whole family had embraced Hinduism in 1983 and that her name was Jayanthi and not Catherin Jasintha in which name the chargesheet has been filed against her. The petitioner further submits that she had filed a Criminal O.P.No.2620 of 1997 for quashing the FIR. However, the same came to be dismissed and even thereafter, no charge had then been framed for almost more than ten months. The petitioner, therefore, contends that a mere pendency of the criminal case cannot come against her practising medicine and also getting the necessary certificates of completion of Course from the respondents.
5. The respondents have taken a stand that since the claim of the petitioner of belonging to Hindu Parayan Caste and the certificate to that effect which was the sole basis of the admission in the Medical College are questioned because of the criminal prosecution, till such prosecution is over and the cloud is lifted, the petitioner would not be in a position to insist upon the certificates of completion of MBBS course as also her having completed the House Surgeon Course. In short, the stand of the State is that these certificates could be given only if the claim of the petitioner that she belongs to Hindu Parayan Caste which is the Scheduled Caste is justified in the criminal trial. According to the respondents, such justification would come only if the petitioner is acquitted from the criminal case which she is facing.
6. The controversy in the petition revolves around the question as to whether the pendency of the criminal case could justify the refusal of the certificates on the part of the respondents acknowledging the petitioner, passing the MBBS course and her having completed House Surgeon Course.
7. It is an admitted position that the petitioner’s admission was sought to be cancelled as it was, later on, found to be defective by the authorities including the Dean, Thanjavur Medical College as the petitioner’s claim of belonging to the Scheduled Caste and the Certificate to that effect were not genuine. This Court had not only granted the interim stay to the petitioner’s ouster from the Medical College but had later on confirmed the interim relief.
practically at the time when the petitioner was at the fag-end of her course. Even thereafter, when the petition came up for final hearing, this Court took the view that the petition has become infructuous as the petitioner had successfully completed her course. The respondents have not taken any objection to the course adopted by the Court. The judgment of the Court does not even faintly suggest that any such objection was raised. In fact, the respondents in the earlier petition could have raised an issue regarding the genuineness of the petitioner’s claim that she belongs to the Scheduled Caste. However, the decision on that question was not insisted upon by the respondents. It is noteworthy that the stand taken in that petition by the respondents was that the petitioner, though did not belong to the Scheduled Caste community, had incorrectly claimed the status of the Scheduled Caste and as such her admission itself could not have been possible. The respondents did not take the stand that though the petitioner had completed her course, the petition could not have been declared to be infructuous as the question of genuineness of the petitioner’s caste still remained to be decided. The respondents simply allowed the petition to be disposed of as infructuous on the ground that the petitioner had completed the course. Therefore, now the respondents are estopped from suggesting that the petitioner should not be given the certificates declaring her passing of MBBS examination and also her having completed House Surgeon Course. One glance at the judgment of the Court suggests that the future prospects of the petitioner could not be jeopardized. The observation of the Court is to the effect that “it will be futile exercised to embark upon an adjudication of the issues raised at this stage, except clarifying that the prospects of the petitioner could not be interfered with in any manner on account of the expulsion order of the first respondent alone.” There is thus no justification whatsoever in refusing the said certificates or taking a stand that the certificates could be issued only after the criminal prosecution is over in favour of the petitioner.
8. Speaking about the criminal prosecution, it must be clarified that it has absolutely no connection whatsoever to the controversy in the present petition. Once this Court had declared that the expulsion of the petitioner from the Medical College could not come in the way of the future prospects of the petitioner because of her having completed the MBBS Course, then the subsequent criminal prosecution could not by-pass the Court’s order.
9. The learned Advocate appearing for respondents very strenuously pointed out that the petitioner had falsely claimed a status of Scheduled Caste and thus not only benefited herself in the process but deprived one other genuine Scheduled Caste candidate of the rightful admission. I am afraid, such argument cannot be entertained now particularly when it is not for a Criminal Court to declare the status of the petitioner one way or the other. The task of the Criminal Court would only to be decide whether the petitioner had committed the offence that she is charged with. However, a declaration that
the Certificate was false lies in the realm of the Scrutiny Committees created for that purpose. In its celebrated judgment, the Apex Court has directed the formation of Scrutiny Committees to test the claim of the students that they belong to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes. See Madhuri Patil v. Additional Commissioner, Tribal Development, . A statement has been made by the learned Advocate General before this Court that in this State, such Castes Scrutiny Committees have been constituted. It will be the task of the Scrutiny Committee alone to cancel the Certificate of the petitioner so that the petitioner could not take advantage of her incorrect stand of belonging to the Scheduled Caste at least in future. However, insofar as the grant of the Certificate of MBBS Course and the House Surgeon Course are concerned, that has become a fait accompli because of the judgment of this Court in WP No.I749 of 1984. It will be for the authorities, therefore, to initiate the proceedings before the appropriate Scrutiny Committee for invalidating the Caste Certificate of the petitioner, if they so choose. But, today as the position stands, the said Certificate holds good and has not been cancelled by any authority. It is clarified that this judgment will not come in the way of the authorities to initiate such proceedings. However, insofar as the respondents’ stand in this petition is concerned, it has to be said that the said stand is incorrect. A mere pendency of the Criminal Case against the petitioner cannot deprive the petitioner of her Certificates. The grant of the certificates would be natural and obvious fall out of the earlier judgment in W.P. No. 1749 of 1984, which is binding on the respondents.
10. The petition, therefore, succeeds and the respondents are directed to issue the concerned certificates to the petitioner forthwith. The petitioner has also claimed a relief against the Tamil Nadu Medical Council, Madras through its Registrar, the 5th respondent herein. The 5th respondent shall consider the application of the petitioner for registration on the basis of the certificates which would be given in pursuance of this order. However, the Medical Council shall consider the application in the light of the rules made for the purpose of registration. With these observations, the petition stands allowed. W.M.P No.11632 of 1998 is dismissed. In the circumstances of the case, however, there shall be no order as to costs.