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M.Latha v. The District Collector - WRIT PETITION NO.11445 OF 1997  RD-TN 136 (18 February 2005)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE V.KANAGARAJ
WRIT PETITION NO.11445 OF 1997
M.Latha ... Petitioner -Vs-
1.The District Collector,
2.The Revenue Divisional Officer,
Dindigul Anna District,
3.The Senior Superintendent
of Post Offices,
Dindigul. ... Respondents Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a Writ of Certiorari as stated therein. For petitioner : Mr.V.R.Venkatesan
For respondents : Mr.R.Lakshminarayanan
Government Advocate for R1 and R2 Mr.N.Kirupakaran
ACGSC for R3
:O R D E R
This Writ Petition has been filed by the petitioner praying to issue Certiorari to call for the records from the first respondent passed in Roc.No.432/93 H1 dated 18.7.1997 and to quash the same.
2. The case of the petitioner as pleaded in the affidavit filed in support of the Writ Petition and as argued by the learned counsel for the petitioner today is that the petitioner belongs to 'Kattunaicken Community', which is recognised as Scheduled Tribe (ST) by the Government; that she is working as a Postal Clerk at Begampur in Dindigul District; that she was appointed to the said post under the 'ST' quota; that on complaints, the District Collector conducted an enquiry and declared that her parents do not belong to 'Kattunaicken Community'; thus, for arriving at the conclusion without any material evidence to the said effect, her parents filed a civil suit in O.S.No.1191 of 1 982 on the file of the Court of District Munsif, Dindigul for declaring that her parents belonged to 'Kattunaicken Community' and the said Court also passed a decree in favour of her parents; that on an appeal preferred in A.S.No.107 of 1984, the decree and judgment of the lower Court was confirmed; that the department has preferred a Civil Revision Petition in CRP No.2712/1987 before this Court, which set aside the judgment passed by the Appellate Court in A.S.No.107 of 1984 on ground of jurisdiction and transferred the matter to the Central Administrative Tribunal and renumbered as T.A.No.307 of 1987 wherein it declared that her parents belonged to 'Kattunaicken Community'.
3. The further case of the petitioner is that the District Collector enquired into her parents' community and cancelled her mother's Community Certificate; that the Civil Court passed a judgment and decree in favour of her parents in O.S.No.567 of 1989; that the District Collector without any direction reopened the matter suo-motu; that on 2 7.5.1978, the Tahsildar, Dindigul issued a Community Certificate that she belongs to 'Kattunaicken Community'; that thereafter, a Writ Petition was filed by her brother and an order was passed directing the respondents therein to consider the representation of her brother and dispose of the same in accordance with law.
4. The further case of the petitioner is that on 26.8.1992, the second respondent/the Revenue Divisional Officer sent a memo calling upon her and her brother to attend to the enquiry and thus the respondents issued a permanent Community Certificate to her and to her brother on 31.10.1992; but again on 29.1.1996, the second respondent issuing any enquiry memo. vide Na.Ka.No.1065/96/F, called upon her to appear for an enquiry regarding which she fi led Writ Petition in W.P.No.1801 of 1996 to forbear the second respondent from conducting an enquiry pursuant to the enquiry memo mentioned supra and this Court remarking that 'it is open for the petitioner to appear and urge the fact further to raise all the contentions before the authority in the enquiry and it is unnecessary to entertain the Writ Petition', had dismissed the same at the admission stage itself; that thereafter another Writ Petition in W.P.No.15083 of 1996 was filed against the memo dated 23.9.1996 calling upon her to appear for an enquiry and even in this Writ Petition, remarking that by the impugned notice cannot be said that any separate proceeding has been initiated, dismissed the said Writ Petition also as a result of which she filed Contempt Petition in C.A.No.108 of 1997 against the second respondent for violating the Court's direction and while so, the first respondent passed the impugned order dated 18.7.1997 cancelling the Community Certificate issued to the petitioner by this Revenue Divisional Officer on 31.1.1992 and it is against this order passed by the first respondent/District Collector, the above Writ Petition has been filed on certain grounds as brought forth in the grounds of Writ Petition, which is nothing but a repetition of the above facts pleaded and therefore, tracing the same will be only wasteful exercise.
5. A vivid counter affidavit would be filed on behalf of the second respondent leading to the effect that the petitioner, M.Latha daughter of G.Mohan has managed to get 'Kattunaicken Community' Certificate from the Revenue Divisional Officer, Dindigul and by virtue of the same, she got the appointment in the Postal Department, which was reserved for 'ST' Community; that the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Madurai Division requested the Collector of Dindigul to enquire into the genuineness of the Community Certificate and to report consequent to which the Collector directed the Revenue Divisional Officer to enquire into it and accordingly, the said authority having conducted the local enquiry, found that the petitioner belongs to 'Hindu Kavara Community' and not 'Kattunaicken Community' and reported his findings as the enquiry officer to the District Collector, Dindigul based on which the District Collector on application of mind has arrived at the conclusion that she does not belong to 'Kattunaicken Community' and ordered cancelling the 'Kattunaicken Community' Certificate issued to the petitioner as per his Roc NO.432/93 H1 dated 18.7.1997.
6. The respondent would further submit that as per the judgment of the Supreme Court of India in Civil Appeal No.1565 of 1997, the jurisdiction of the Civil Court to take cognisance and declare the community stands prohibited and that the orders of the Central Administrative Tribunal do not prohibit the Collector from enquiring into the genuineness of the Community Certificate of the petitioner and report the result to her employer; that the declaration of the community status and the issuance of the Certificate exclusively falls under the jurisdiction and purview of the revenue officials; that the proceedings of the Central Administrative Tribunal and the enquiry being held by the revenue department in deciding the community status of a person are independent and not interdependent and therefore, all the decisions of the Civil Forums such matter of deciding the community status of the parents of the petitioner are not consistent and therefore, the community status of the petitioner is not decided on the basis of the civil proceedings and decisions; that as per G.O.Ms.No.2137 Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department dated 11.11.1989, the Revenue Divisional Officers are competent and issued the Community Certificate in respect of the members of the 'ST'.
7. Further, this respondent would submit that earlier the Revenue Divisional Officer, Dindigul without conducting any proper enquiry as per various executive instructions falsely relying on the judgment of the Civil Court with a view to avoid contempt proceedings had issued 'Kattunaicken Community' Certificate to the petitioner and therefore, at the instance of the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Madurai, the Revenue Divisional Officer, Dindigul conducted an enquiry with due opportunity for the petitioner to be heard had ultimately arrived at the conclusion that the petitioner belongs to 'Hindu Kavara Community', which is recognised as a Backward Community and does not belong to 'Kattunaicken Community' and called for report to the District Collector, Dindigul and thus the authority in turn having considered the various materials placed on record and on application of his mind to the enquiry held by the Revenue Divisional Officer and on his own discussions a valid decision has been arrived at as per his order dated 18.7.1997 in his proceedings in Roc No.432/93 H1 thereby cancelling the 'Kattunaicken Community' Certificate issued in favour of the petitioner. It would be ascertained in the counter that the community status of the petitioner had been decided by the Revenue Divisional Officer and the District Collector on independent enquiry held by the Revenue Divisional Officer and not based on the strength of the decree and judgment passed by the Civil Court which is erroneous. On such arguments, counter would ultimately pray to dismiss the Writ Petition. In support of his contention, he would also rely on the decision reported in (1994) 6 SCC 241 (KUMARI MADHURI PATIL Vs. ADDL. COMMISSIONER), wherein, it is held as follows:
"12. We have seen that Scrutiny Committee proceedings although started on 8-12-1989 were prolonged till 26-6-1992. We do not have record to scan the reasons for the delay. It would appear that the constitution of a Committee with large number of members and Secretary as Chairman must have greatly contributed for the delay in deciding the claims for the social status. A right of appeal provided thereafter compounded further delay though the Additional Commissioner on the facts of this case has disposed of the appeal very expeditiously. However, all of them are the contributory factors for the delay."
8. During arguments, the learned counsel for the petitioner in support of his contention would cite the following decisions reported in (1994) 6 SCC 241 (KUMARI MADHURI PATIL Vs. ADDL.COMMISSIONER), 2000 (I) CTC 398 (KUMARASAMI Vs. COLLECTOR OF CHENGALPATTU), 2003-2-L.W. 3 92 (RANJITKUMAR Vs. GOPAL AND ANOTHER), wherein, in the first judgment cited above, it is held in the following manner.
"13.The admission wrongly gained or appointment wrongly obtained on the basis of false social status certificate necessarily has the effect of depriving the genuine Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes or OBC candidates as enjoined in the Constitution of the benefits conferred on them by the Constitution. The genuine candidates are also denied admission to educational institutions or appointments to office or posts under a State for want of social status certificate. The ineligible or spurious persons who falsely gained entry resort to dilatory tactics and create hurdles in completion of the inquiries by the Scrutiny Committee."
Further suggesting the necessity to appoint scrutinising committee at the earliest, since according to the Honourable Supreme Court often times it is the parent or the guardian, who might play fraud claiming false status certificate and the student might be a minor.
9. In the second judgment cited above, a learned single Judge of this Court extracting from another judgment rendered in SAKTHI DEVI S.P. Vs. THE COLLECTOR OF SALEM reported way-back in 1984 WLR 535, has held as follows: "Appointing authorities have the right to verify the genuineness of the certificates by approaching the District Magistrate-Collector of the District or such other constituted authority and once the report is received that the certificate is genuine, thereafter the certificate holder cannot be further harassed to prove his caste/community in any other manner".
10. In the third judgment cited above, a learned single Judge of this Court has held as follows:
"It has been laid down that judgment not inter partes is admissible in evidence under Section 13 of the Evidence Act as evidence of an assertion of a right to property in dispute. Even otherwise it will be a binding precedent."
11. During arguments, learned counsel for the third respondent would submit that the petitioner has two documents of the year 1954 and 19 65 to show that she belongs to 'Kattunaicken' Community even prior to the declaration made by the Central Government that the ' Kattunaicken' Community as Scheduled Tribe on 6.6.1967; and that in KUMARI MADHURI PATIL's case, some procedures were contemplated in respect of the cancellation of the Community Certificate and that the District Collector is not the authority to cancel the Schedule Castes and Tribe Community Certificate and the same has to be gone into by a Caste Scrutiny Committee constituted according to the Apex Court's guidelines for the said purpose.
12. In consideration of the facts pleaded, having regard to the materials placed on record and upon hearing the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Additional Government Pleader representing the respondents 1 and 2 and the learned Additional Central Government Standing Counsel for the third respondent what this Court could assess in a nutshell is that the third respondent under whom the petitioner was working as a postal clerk was found to have joined the Department in the Scheduled Tribe quota declaring that she was belonging to 'Kattunaicken' Community which is recognised by the Government as ' Scheduled Tribe'; that on a complaint lodged, the District Collector conducted an enquiry and declared that her parents do not belong to the 'Kattunaicken' Community; that earlier, her parents are alleged to have gone to the Central Administrative Tribunal for declaration of their names that they belonged only to 'Kattunaicken' Community and as per the order in T.A.No.307 of 1987, O.A.No.80 of 1987 and O.A.81 of 1987 dated 8.3.1988, the Central Administrative Tribunal is alleged to have declared that they were belonging to 'Kattunaicken' Community thereby upholding the judgment and decree of the court of the District Munsif, Dindigul and it is relevant to point out that neither of the respondents 1 and 2, who are the authorities to issue the certificate are parties to the said proceedings. Tall claims would be made on the part of the petitioner citing the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, but it is pathetic to note that the Central Administrative Tribunal has decided the case based on the decision of the Civil Court (District Munsif's Court, Dindugal) which is alleged to have been confirmed upto Second Appeal, the fact being that the civil Court does not have jurisdiction to decide a community certificate at all and in fact as per many of the judgments of the Honourable Apex Court including that of the case cited by the petitioner reported in (199 4) 6 SCC 241 (KUMARI MADHURI PATIL AND ANOTHER vs. ADDITIONAL COMMISSIONER, TRIBAL DEVELOPMENT AND OTHERS) wherein civil Court's jurisdiction is specifically barred regarding community certificate cases.
13. In the above circumstances, stating that the parents of the petitioner are belonging to 'Kattunaicken' community, the petitioner has come forward to claim that she should also be recognized as belonging to S.T. community. Such orders have been passed without having a legal basis particularly which are not binding on the respondents 1 and 2, who are the authorities to issue such caste certificates and therefore this argument cannot be accepted and the same is liable to be declared bad in law and unacceptable for the purpose of deciding the community of the petitioner.
14. Having a close and careful perusal of the order impugned passed by the first respondent herein who was the authority to decide the cases of such nature arising from out of the issuance of the community certificates, it is clear that the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Madurai Division, Madurai as per his letter dated 28.12.1995 informed the first respondent that the petitioner Tmt.M.Latha was appointed as Postal Assistant in Madurai Division with effects from 27.11.1 995 against a Scheduled Tribe quota as she produced the community certificate as belonging to 'Kattunaicken' community issued by the Revenue Divisional Officer, Dindigul in his Roc.No.13469/92/F. dated 31.1.1992 and the said certificate was sought to be verified. Thereafter, the Revenue Divisional Officer, Dindigul had conducted a detailed enquiry in Sirumalai village, Dindigul Taluk from where the parents of the petitioner hail as claimed by them making such enquiries with such authorities and elderly members of the locality and gave a finding to the effect that the petitioner's parents actually belonged only to the Backward Community of 'Hindu-Gavara (Naidu)' and that all her grand parents and such other relatives in the village were only belonging to the Hindu-Gavara (Naidu) community which is a Backward Community and categorical evidence would be adduced before the Revenue Divisional Officer that the petitioner and her parents have falsely and by manipulation had obtained the community certificate of 'Kattunaicken' community, which is a Scheduled Tribe community from the then Revenue Divisional Officer, Dindigul during the year 1982 and got the appointment in the Postal Department against the Scheduled Tribe quota based on such erroneous documents issued for extraneous reasons by the then Revenue Divisional Officer, Dindigul particularly based on civil Court's judgment which is unacceptable in law.
15. It is based on the report submitted by the present Revenue Divisional Officer submitted in his R.Dis.1065/96/F dated 2.4.1997, the District Collector, having examined those facts and circumstances pleaded on the part of the petitioner and further having examined the vital documents placed on record, numbering 8, including that of the report submitted by the Revenue Divisional Officer and having had his own discussion in an elaborate manner would reject the arguments of the petitioner advanced in favour of the case put up on her part that she was belonging to only ST 'Kattunaicken' community and for valid reasons assigned, would ultimately arrive at the conclusion that the ST community certificate issued to the petitioner by the Revenue Divisional Officer, Dindigul in his Roc.No.13469/92/F. dated 31.1.1992 (in Certificate No.266002) is not bona fide and deserves to be cancelled thus declaring that it was a false community certificate and would ultimately cancel the same forthwith and it is this order passed by the District Collector which is under challenge in the above writ petition.
16. So far as the judgments cited on the part of the petitioner, extracted supra, numbering three are concerned, in the first judgment reported in (1994) 6 SCC 241 (KUMARI MADHURI PATIL AND ANOTHER vs. ADDITIONAL COMMISSIONER, TRIBAL DEVELOPMENT AND OTHERS), besides barring the civil Courts from exercising the jurisdiction in the matter of issuance of the community certificate particularly SC and ST certificates, it has been cautioned by the Honourable Apex Court that 'getting into the service on the basis of false social status certificate, necessarily has the effect of depriving the genuine Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes or OBC candidates as enjoined in the Constitution of the benefits conferred on them by the Constitution. The genuine candidates are also denied admission to educational institutions or appointments to office or posts under a State for want of social status certificate. The ineligible or spurious persons who falsely gained entry resort to dilatory tactics and create hurdles in completion of the inquiries by the Scrutiny Committee'. Thus, the Honourable Apex Court has suggested the ways and means to tackle such nuisances which have sprung up perennially and there is nothing for the petitioner to fish out in her favour.
17. In the second judgment cited above, delivered in KUMARASAMI vs. COLLECTOR OF CHENGALPATTU extracting from another judgment rendered in SAKTHI DEVI S.P. vs. THE COLLECTOR OF SALEM reported in 1984 Writ L.R. 535 it has been held that 'the appointing authorities have the right to verify the genuineness of the certificates by approaching the District Collector/Collector of the District and once the report is received, that the certificate is genuine, thereafter the certificate holder cannot be further harassed to prove his caste/community in any other manner.' It is relevant to point out that the said authority named in this judgment i.e. the District Magistrate/Collector of the District has been requested by the Appointing Authority to verify the genuineness of the community certificate of the petitioner only wherein the impugned order came to be passed by the said authority and never before. Neither the certificate obtained by the petitioner from the Revenue Divisional Officer earlier causing production of which she joined the Post was having any bearing on the appointing authority having made any reference to the said Revenue Divisional Officer nor had it been issued by the District Collector and therefore even according to this judgment, factually, the case of the petitioner has nothing to do and fails.
18. In the third order cited from one of the single judges of this Court declaring the law particularly giving expression to Section 13 of the Evidence Act regarding assertion of right to property in dispute, has nothing to do with the case in hand and the same cannot be relied on to the context of the case.
19. On a overall consideration of the pleadings by the petitioner and all the other circumstances gathered from all sources, it has been glaringly established before the first respondent District Magistrate/District Collector and before this Court as well that the community certificate obtained by the petitioner from the then Revenue Divisional Officer issued in his Roc.No.13469/92/F. dated 31.1.1992 causing production of which and duping herself to be belonging to ' Kattunaicken' community, which is classified as ST, she joined the post in the third respondent Department as Postal Assistant is not only a false and bogus certificate and the petitioner filing cases one after another and citing untenable matters such as those discussed in the foregoing paragraphs relating to her parents in obtaining untenable orders either in the civil Court or in the Central Administrative Tribunal which are against the dictum of law and the legal convictions and further showing evasive orders and judgments which could not be applied to cases of such nature has been able to stick to her position in the third respondent Department all these years and it is time that it is ultimately declared that she has caused production of a false certificate knowingly and intentionally and by manipulation of the real facts and having obtained false certificate had joined the third respondent Department and besides declaring that it is a false certificate it has become incumbent on the part of this Court to further direct the third respondent to eject the petitioner from the service for her criminal indulgence in not only obtaining the false certificate as against the true facts and circumstances relating to her community with the view to obtain wrongful gains in getting into the job in 'ST' quota further initiating the necessary recovery proceedings of all those pay and emoluments that she has obtained so far so as to serve as a precedent for other such manipulators and hence the following order:
(i) the above writ petition does not merit acceptance but becomes liable only to be dismissed and is dismissed accordingly.
(ii) The impugned order of the first respondent/District Collector, Dindigul made in his ROC.432/96/H1, dated 18.7.1997 is confirmed. (iii) The third respondent the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Dindigul Division, Dindigul is hereby directed to eject the petitioner from the service for her criminal indulgence in not only obtaining the false certificate as against the true facts and circumstances relating to her community with the view to obtain wrongful gains in getting into the job in 'ST' quota and also initiate necessary recovery proceedings of all those pay and emoluments that the petitioner has obtained so far.
However, in the circumstances of the case, there shall be no order as to costs.
1.The District Collector,
2.The Revenue Collector,
Dindigul Anna District,
3.The Senior Superintendent
of Post Offices,
Dindigul Division, Dindigul.
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