2013(4) ALL MR 647
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY(AURANGABAD BENCH)

A.H. JOSHI AND S.P. DESHMUKH, JJ.

Ku. Yogeshwari D/O. Satish Deore & Anr. Vs. The State Of Of Maharashtra & Ors.

Writ Petition No. 10624 of 2012

23rd January, 2013

Petitioner Counsel: Shri S.R. Barlinge
Respondent Counsel: Shri V.H. Dighe,Shri P.S. Patil

Maharashtra Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, De-notified Tribes (Vimukta Jatis), Nomadic Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Special Backward Category (Regulation of Issuance and Verification of) Caste Certificate Act (2000), Ss.4, 6 - Caste certificate of belonging to Thakur Tribe - Rejection of - Appeal against - Appellants father and mother have been issued Thakur Tribe certificate - Certificate of his uncle was validated as belonging to Thakur Tribe - Appeal could not have been rejected without considering factual aspects and ground raised by applicant by merely endorsing view of competent authority - Scrutiny committee directed to hear applicant afresh in accordance with law. (Paras 7, 9)

JUDGMENT

A. H. JOSHI, J. :- Rule. By consent, rule made returnable forthwith and heard finally.

2. Petitioners' requests for issue of certificates were rejected by the Competent Authority-Deputy Collector (SETU), Aurangabad, by order dated 6.5.2010. The rejection was challenged before the Scheduled Tribe Certificate Scrutiny Committee, Aurangabad Division, Aurangabad, by filing appeal. The appeal is dismissed by order dated 10.8.2010.

3. The petitioners are before us seeking direction to the competent authority to issue to him a certificate of belonging to Thakur Tribe.

4. Petitioners' claim and submissions are summarized as follows:-

(a) petitioners' father and mother have received Thakur Tribe certificates.

(b) Petitioners' uncle, namely, Shri Ajay Adhar Deore possesses a certificate showing that he belongs to Tribe Thakur and that said certificate is validated by the Scrutiny Committee.

5. Petitioners have annexed along with petition, caste certificates issued to their father, mother and also of validity to their uncle Ajay.

6. It is seen that Respondent No.2-Deputy Collector (SETU), is not satisfied with the answers given on point No. 5 of the format, which relates to ethnic aspect and affinity. Therefore, he did not give any weightage to the certificates of mother, father and uncle and, as such, proceeded to reject the requests by petitioners.

7. Perusal of order passed by Respondent No.3-The Scheduled Tribe Certificate Scrutiny Committee as an appellate authority, shows that it has failed to perform its function properly as the first appellate authority and has merely endorsed the view of Respondent No.3, stating that the reasons assigned by the authority refusing to issue the certificate are satisfactory. The Committee ought to have dealt with factual aspects in details, particularly because petitioners' claim was being denied in the background of grounds raised before it and validation of Tribe claim of near blood relatives.

8. In our evaluation, such an order at the hands of first appellate authority lacking eloquence is grossly improper and untenable. It would be considered that, for issue of tribe certificates, one has to see prima facie material and the rigour as would be required while scrutinizing and verifying the claim under the certificate may not be necessary.

9. We are, therefore, of considered view that the appellate authority i.e. the Scrutiny Committee shall follow the procedure as laid down by Acts and Rules and decide petitioners' appeal.

10. The petitioners shall be free to make representations, furnish evidence and urge the grounds as may be advised.

11. Accordingly, we quash and set aside the decision of Respondent No. 3 dated 10.8.2010 and direct Respondent No. 3 to consider the appeals of the petitioners afresh in accordance with law.

12. Rule is made absolute in terms of Paragraph Nos. 8 to 10.

13. Parties are directed to bear their own costs.

Ordered accordingly.