H.K. Sema, J
1. The challenge in this appeal is
to the order dated 25-8-2004 passed by the High Court in W.P.No. 28707
of 2003, dismissing the writ petition filed by the appellant.
2. The short question arises for
determination in this appeal is, as to whether the appellant Geeta
belongs to Majhi Tribe, which is Scheduled Tribe or Nishad/Mallah, which
is not Scheduled Tribe.
3. We have heard the parties.
4. The appellant was granted
Scheduled Tribe Certificate dated 29.8.1986 by the District Magistrate
Lucknow. The order reads:-
FORM OF CASTE CERTIFICATE
This is to certify that Kumari Geeta daughter of M.S. Nishad of
village/town D-72, Nirala Nagar in District/Division Lucknow of the
State Uttar Pradesh belong to the Majhi Tribe which is recognized as a
Scheduled Tribe. Under:-
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes)
Order, 1950 (as amended by the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes lists
(Modification) Order, 1956)
2. This certificate is issued on the
basis of the Scheduled/Tribe certificate issued to Shri M.S. Nishad
father of Kumari Geeta of Village/Town Kripalpur in District Satna of
the State Madhya Pradesh, who belong to the Majhi/tribe which is
recognized as a Scheduled Tribe in the State Madhya Pradesh issued in
the Distt. Magistrate Satna (name of prescribed authority vide Letter
No.87114 dated 03.11.77.
Designation on Officer Incharge
(with seal of office)
District Magistrate, Lucknow
5. It would appear from the order
itself that she was given Scheduled Tribe Certificate on the basis of
Scheduled Tribe Certificate issued to the father of the appellant Shri
M.S. Nishad by the District Magistrate, Satna in the State of M.P. by an
order dated 3.11.1977
6. At this stage, we may point out
that the said Scheduled Tribe Certificate dated 3.11.1977 issued to the
father of the appellant Shri M.S. Nishad has also been cancelled
subsequently. The appellant's father was also placed under suspension.
It is brought to our notice that the order dated 28.2.1995 has been
challenged in W.P. No.192(SB) of 1995 in the Lucknow Bench of the
Allahabad High Court and the same is still pending.
7. Be that as it may, it is clear
that the Scheduled Tribe Certificate issued in favour of the appellant
on 29.8.1986, that the appellant belongs to Majhi Tribe, which is
recognized as Scheduled Tribe in the State of M.P., was issued by the
District Magistrate, Lucknow, on the basis of the Scheduled Tribe
Certificate issued by the District Magistrate, Satna, in favour of her
father by an order dated 3.11.1977.
8. On the strength of the Scheduled
Tribe Certificate, the appellant applied for the post of Deputy
Superintendent of Police from the reserved quota of Scheduled Tribes.
She was selected from the reserved quota and included in the merit list.
Thereafter, by an order dated 28.3.2001 she was appointed as Deputy
Superintendent of Police and is still continuing in the said post.
9. An inquiry was initiated against
the appellant preceded by a complaint. On the basis of the Inquiry
Report, the services of the appellant was sought to be terminated by an
order dated 9.4.2001 inter alia on the ground that the caste certificate
issued to her father has been cancelled by the Collector, Satna in 1995.
Aggrieved thereby, the appellant filed O.A.No.1426 of 2001 before the
Madhya Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, which was dismissed in limine by
an order dated 26.4.2001. Aggrieved thereby, the appellant preferred
Writ Petition No. 2237 of 2001 before the High Court, which was
dismissed on 13.5.2002, with the direction to conduct an inquiry whether
the appellant belongs to Majhi Tribe or not.
10. Pursuant to the direction of the
High Court, show cause notice was issued to the appellant, by the
Scheduled Tribe Certificate Investigating Committee, Madhya Pradesh.
11. After show cause notice, the
High Level Caste Screening Committee was constituted in the light of the
decision of this Court in the case of Kumari Madhuri Patil vs. Addl.
Commissioner, Tribal Development, (1994) 6 SCC 241 with the following
(i) Principal Secretary/Secretary,
Government Of Madhya Pradesh, Adhim Jhathi Kalyan Vibhagh. ..Adhyaksh
(ii) Commissioner, Tribal Development MemberMadhya Pradesh Secretary
(iii) Secretary, Madhya Pradesh State Scheduled Tribes Commission,
(iv) Member/Representative, Adhim Jhathi Member Anusandhan Sansthan.
12. After giving an opportunity and
hearing the appellant and after examining the documents, the High Level
Caste Screening Committee, by its order dated 18.9.2003 came to the
"5. After scrutiny of inquiry report
of Superintendent of Police, Satna, report of Additional District
Magistrate (Administration), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, order of Collector
Satna, Caste (Nirjatiya) information, statements, statement of other
persons, educational qualifications and other documents, the Screening
Committee has arrived at following conclusions:
(i) She has not made available any
such authentic documents or facts to the Committee on the basis of which
it could be proved that she belongs to Majhi caste.
(ii) On a special examination of
caste issues also, it was found that she does not belong to Majhi caste
because the gothras stated by her are not found in this caste and she
did not narrate any tribal language. The occupations stated like
fishing, labouring, farming are also not characteristics of Majhi.
6. On scrutiny of aforesaid facts,
the Committee found that the original caste of Ku. Geeta Nishad "Mallah"
confirms backward caste."
13. The aforesaid finding recorded
by the High Level Caste Screening Committee was assailed by the
appellant before the Madhya Pradesh High Court in W.P. No. 28707 of
2003. which was dismissed by the impugned order. Hence the present
14. The forceful contention urged
before us by the counsel for the appellant is that no opportunity was
afforded to prove her caste before the High Level Caste Screening
Committee and as such the finding recorded by the High Level Screening
Committee is vitiated for non-observance of principles of natural
justice. We do not agree.
15. Show cause notice was issued on
28.7.2003. It is not the case of the appellant that she has not received
the show cause notice.
16. She was asked to appear at 11.30
A.M. on 14.8.2003 along with all necessary documents to prove her caste
before the Committee. Paragraph 6 of the show cause notice reads:-
"6. In this regard, the
certificates/documents which you wish to produce along with your
response should be properly verified necessarily. In case of
non-appearance on the fixed date, it will be deemed that you have
nothing to say regarding your doubtful caste certificate and
Investigation Committee will be free to take final decision in your
matter on the basis of available records."
17. The next date fixed for hearing
was 18.9.2003 on which date the impugned order was passed. In our view,
therefore, adequate opportunity has been afforded to the appellant of
personal hearing as well as to produce documents in support of her
caste. In our view, it is sufficient compliance of principles of natural
18. We may notice that both her
father and the appellant are well educated. The appellant's father was
said to have been born on 1.1.1947. No birth certificate was produced.
No documents whatsoever were produced prior to 3.11.1977 to prove that
they belong to Majhi Tribe, which is Scheduled Tribe.
19. Counsel for the appellant
invited our attention to Anthropological Survey of India prepared by one
Majumdar D.N., 'The Racial Basis of Indian Social Structure', Eastern
Anthropologist published in Oxford University Press 1994. He
particularly referred to the "term Majhi" means boatman. He has also
observed that Majhi take part in agricultural operations, fetch water,
and also take part in social and religious activities. He has also
referred to the observation that the major economic resource of the
Majhi is land. Their traditional occupation was fishing, some worked as
boatmen. By this learned counsel would like to show that the finding
recorded by the High Level Caste Screening Committee is erroneous. In
our view, these are not authenticated documents. It is not prepared by
the competent authority. No such reliance can be placed for deciding the
Tribal status of the appellant.
20. Counsel also brought to our
notice the Urban and Non-urban Region Mutation Register in which the
family tree of Marakahn alias Mulu Majhi is shown. It is clear that
Aaraji No.607, area 33 D. Village Madhavgarh is recorded in the name of
Lessee Bisheshar, s/o Marakhan Mallah, Atma Ram. This would also show
that she belongs to Mallah/Nishad.
21. Even in the midst of hearing of
this appeal, we granted more time to the appellant, to produce any
document, which will establish her tribe as Majhi, which is Scheduled
Tribe, prior to 3.11.1977, but she utterly failed. This would clearly
show that the Tribe Certificate showing the appellant as Majhi Tribe
obtained on 29.8.1986 on the basis of Tribe Certificate of her father
obtained on 3.11.1977 are without any documentary proof and manufactured
22. Counsel for the appellant has
drawn our attention to the decision of this Court in Kumari Madhuri
Patil vs Addl. Commissioner, Tribal Development, (1994) 6 SCC 241.
In that case the Scheduled Tribe Certificate was fraudulently obtained
and admission was secured in Medical College. The candidate completed
her course of study and sought permission to appear only in the final
examination. In the particular facts and circumstances of that case the
Principal of the college was directed to allow her to appear in the
examination as a special case without making it a precedent. Therefore
the decision in Madhuri (supra) was in particular facts and
circumstances of that case. Secondly, here is the case where an
undeserved candidate occupies the post of deserving candidate in the
reserved quota meant for them. In such a situation, the deserving
candidate is pushed out of the queue and the constitutional guarantee
reserving the post for the deserving candidate is frustrated. This must
be stopped with a strong hand.
23. In the result, there is no merit
in this appeal and is, accordingly, dismissed. Parties are asked to bear
their own costs.
Print This Judgment