The Madras high court on Friday stated that the reservation Policy was a matter of great pride and its exploitation is not justified even if it was detected at a later stage. [Balasundaram vs Tamil Nadu State and ors]
Facts of the Case
The Petitioner challenged the proceedings dated 4th January 2022 issued by the Tamil Nadu State Level Scrutiny Committee (Respondent No. 1) of Ali Dravidar. He had a community certificate issued by the Tahsildar of Coimbatore dated 11th February 1980, which certified him as belonging to the ST community of ‘Hindu Konda Reddy’. Based on this very certificate he was appointed as Khalasi in the Institute of Forest Genetics and tree breeding under the ST quota on 15th October 1982 and later in the year 1999 he was promoted as Lower Division and by 2020 he held the title of the Upper Division Clerk.
On 30th September 2014, one of his employers referred his community certificate to the Director of the Institute of Forest Genetics and tree breeding which in turn initiated the proceedings in the year 2017. The Vigilance Cell inquired and submitted a report on 2nd May 2018 which stated that the Petitioner does not belong to an ST community and the same was accepted by Respondent No. 1 who then canceled the Community Certificate. Hence this writ petition prayed for the impugned order to be quashed.
Learned Counsel View Points
Mr. N Naganathan, the learned counsel of the Petitioner stated that Respondent No. 1 did not provide a valid reason for canceling the original certificate. He further stated that as per the Guidelines of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Government of India where such certification of ST community certificate was to be conducted only for those who obtained under the 1995 quota. Hence, the impugned order has no legal sanctity. He also pointed out that a delay of 40 years is unsustainable in law.
Mr. P Gurunathan learned Additional Government argued that the verification was done thoroughly by the respective authorities and only then the report was submitted. He contended that Respondent No. 1 showed no biases and rather followed the proper procedure. Obtaining a bogus community certificate and enjoying benefits under it like getting a job is a serious offense. It takes away the opportunity of employment from a rightful candidate. Therefore, this petition has no merits and should be dismissed.
Observations by the Court
The Bench of Justices VM Velumani and R Hemalatha observed that Respondent No. 1 had not just relied on the report submitted by the Vigilance officer’s report alone but also the anthropologist’s report. The reports highlighted that the Petitioner belonged to the Konda Reddy community whereas his brother and daughter belonged to the Reddy community. This acted as a piece of evidence before the court that the Petitioner did not belong to the ST community. Thus, the Court dismissed the plea of the Petitioner and refused to interfere with the findings of Respondent No. 1.