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: Oct 2008
: Chandigarh
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Post Can kids of ST mom, upper caste dad avail quota benefits?

Can kids of ST mom, upper caste dad avail quota benefits?
Please refer to this News item and comment...

Ahmedabad: Can children of a mother belonging to scheduled tribe married to an upper caste Hindu obtain benefits of the reservation system? This issue is to be decided by Gujarat High Court, as a pharmacist has approached the court after the Commissioner, Tribal Welfare ordered to cancel his caste certificate and withdraw all benefits of reservations, including his degree certificate.

As per case details, a Bhil Christian woman Elisabeth Samuel Patel (Damor) married to a Hindu Brahmin Ramanlal Dave. A boy Mayank was born to them in 1980. The Social Welfare Department had issued a certificate of Schedule Tribe (ST) category to Mayank in 1992, while he was studying in school in Dahod. On completing school in 1999, he sought admission for a pharmacy diploma course and produced his caste certificate.

The Centralised Degree Admission Committee was alarmed after looking at his certificate, particularly finding that Mayank's father was a high caste Brahmin. The Committee asked a vigilance officer to verify the genuineness of the caste certificate and whether Mayank was eligible for benefits of quota system. Meanwhile, he was given admission, he got his diploma and for last two months started working as a pharmacist at the Employee State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) in Godhra.

After due inquiry, albeit after 10 years, the Tribal Welfare Commissioner ordered last month that Mayank's caste certificate be cancelled and the benefits he had obtained through this certificate also be withdrawn. Thus, Mayank is set to lose his educational qualification as well as the job.
Stumped with the commissioner's order, Mayank filed a writ petition in the high court through advocate Saurabh Patel, wherein he has challenged the commissioner's direction. In his petition, he cited a Government Resolution dated August 31, 1987, which makes Mayank eligible to get benefit of caste certificate.

Moreover, the petitioner also contended that the state is bound to give special recognition to the marriages of so-called caste Hindu with members of SC/ST because such marriages remove imbalances and inequalities in society.

A division bench of Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice MS Shah admitted the petition and ordered a stay on any action against the petitioner till the petition is disposed of. The court has also asked Mayank not to obtain any promotional benefit on basis of his caste certificate.
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