Posted On by &filed under High Court, Madras High Court.

Madras High Court
K. Sivapragasam vs The Revenue Divisional Officer … on 19 October, 2000
Author: Sirpurkar
Bench: V Sirpurkar, M Chockalingam


Sirpurkar, J.

1. By consent, the writ appeal as also the W. P. was taken-up for final hearing. Aggrieved by the order passed by the learned Single Judge, dismissing the W.M.P. No. 6932 of 1999 in W.P.No. 4399 of 1999, the petitioner comes up before us by way of the present writ appeal.

2. In this writ petition, the petitioner had pointed out that initially there was a community certificate in his favour issued by Tahsildar. Chengam on 1-8-1985, on the basis of which he applied for an admission into the diploma course in Petroleum Engineering in Tamil Nadu Polytechnic, Tiruchy during the academic year 1989-93. He

pointed out that he was selected and was directed by the Principal to produce permanent community certificate from the Revenue Divisional Officer. It appears that the petitioner had produced only axerox copy of the certificate and, therefore, he was directed to produce the original community certificate which, he was unable to file. He was. therefore, directed by the Principal to produce another community certificate from the Revenue Divisional Officer. He later on filed W.P.No. 16221 of 1990 for a Mandamus, directing the Principal to admit him In the diploma course in the Sugar Technology without insisting upon permanent community certificate from the 1st respondent as also the original community certificate issued by the Tahsildar and to accept the xerox copy of the certificate Issued by the Tahsildar which he had produced. This Court, by an order dated 17-12-1998, directed the 1st respondent to dispose of his representation dated 7-4-1997 which he was obliged to make for a fresh community certificate. The Court, however, allowed the petitioner to continue with his course and it is an admitted position that the petitioner is so continuing. In the meantime, by order dated 20-2-1999 made in A2/7922/98, the application of the petitioner for issuance of a permanent community certificate was rejected on the ground that he did not belong to “Malal Kuravan” community. It is for this reason that the petitioner filed the present writ petition. A Writ Miscellaneous Petition (W.M.P.No. 6932 of 1999) was filed in this writ petition wherein, it was prayed that an order of injunction be passed restraining the 2nd respondent from discontinuing the petitioner from pursuing his diploma course and a direction should be given to the 2nd respondent directing him to allow the petitioner to continue the course in the 2nd respondent Institution pending the writ petition (W.P. No. 4399 of 1999) for a Writ of Mandamus for quashing the order passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer dated 20-2-1999, rejecting the application for permanent community certificate. The learned Single Judge observed while rejecting the W.M.Ps that the relief was beyond the scope of the writ petition. It is against this rejection that the writ appeal has been filed.

3. The learned counsel for the appellant, at the outset, pointed out that it was an admitted position that the petitioner was granted a community certificate by the Tahsildar, Chengam, the xerox copy of which

he had filed before the authority. He also pointed out that the said community certificate was issued on 1-8-1985. From the counter of the State Government, the learned counsel pointed out the admission on the part of the State Government that such certificate was actually issued by the Tahsildar, Chengam. The learned counsel pointed out that once such a certificate was Issued then, there was no question of the petitioner being asked to obtain a fresh community certificate unless the certificate issued by the Tahsildar was cancelled by proper proceedings. He relies on the decision of the Supreme Court (R. Kandasamy v. The Chief Engineer, Madras Port Trust) where the Apex Court held that the community certificate issued to a Scheduled Tribe candidate by the Tahsildar prior to 11-11-1989 is a good and valid Community Certificate for all purposes so long as such a certificate is not cancelled. The authorities cannot decline to take that into consideration and insist upon a fresh community certificate from the Revenue Divisional Officer. The learned counsel, therefore, urges that once it is an admitted position that the petitioner had a valid community certificate issued by the Tahsildar and since the fact of issuance of such certificate by the Tahsildar was not disputed by the State Government and was, in fact, admitted specifically in paragraph 5 of the counter then, merely because he could not file the original of that certificate before the principal, he could not have been asked to secure a second certificate from the Revenue Divisional Officer. It is an admitted position that the Tahsildar has lost his power to Issue any community certificate after 1989 and it is also an admitted position that the petitioner did not have the original certificate but only had the xerox copy of that certificate. However, the fact remains that the State Government has accepted that actually a certificate was issued in favour of the petitioner, certifying that he belonged to the Scheduled Tribe community and it was Issued in C. A. No. 4780 of 1999 by the Tahsildar, Chengam on 1-8-1985. If that is so, then the Supreme Court judgment, cited supra, would apply on all fours and, therefore, the principal could not have insisted upon the production of the original caste certificate issued. At the most, the petitioner could have been asked to obtain a certified copy of the said certificate but, instead of that, it seems that the principal Insisted upon the production of

the fresh community certificate from the Revenue Divisional Officer, which was obviously beyond the powers of the principal as per the observations of the Supreme Court in the aforementioned ruling. In that view, there would be no point in going ahead with this appeal and the writ petition itself will have to be allowed. During the pendency of the writ petition, the petitioner has amended the writ petition and has sought for quashing of the direction by the principal to obtain a fresh community certificate from the Revenue Divisional Officer. The learned Government Pleader, however, submits that on enquiry, the Revenue Divisional Officer has found that the petitioner does not belong to a community which comes within the Scheduled Tribes. We make it clear that if the State Government so feels, it may initiate the proceedings before the appropriate authority for the cancellation of the certificate dated 1-8-1985 but, in the wake of a specific admission that such a certificate was actually granted by the Tahsildar on 1-8-1985, the relief cannot be denied to the petitioner for the present to continue with his course because till the certificate dated 1-8-1985 is cancelled by the appropriate authorities, it will be deemed that the petitioner belongs to the Scheduled Tribe community. In that view, he will also be entitled to continue with his course of Sugar Technology to which he has been admitted on the basis of reservation. With these observations, we allow the writ petition in terms of the amended prayer. In view of the fact that we are allowing the writ petition, it goes without saying that the writ appeal shall also be disposed in the same terms. Connected C.M.P. No. 7438 and 7439 of 1999 are closed. No costs.

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