Court asks Caste Scrutiny Committee to reconsider decision

Bombay High Court: Granting relief to a final year student of engineering, a bench comprising of  Anoop Mohota and AA Sayed, JJ set aside an order of the Caste Scrutiny Committee which had invalidated the claim of the student that he belonged to the Scheduled Tribe. The Court remanded the matter back to the Scrutiny Committee to reconsider the claim of the petitioner that he belonged to Thakur caste which comes under Scheduled Tribe. The Court opined that in this case, the scrutiny committee had not considered the documents and evidence and wrongly applied law on  affinity test issue, area restriction removal and caste certificates of relatives based on similar wrongly framed issues. It asked the Scrutiny Committee to reconsider every aspect, by giving an opportunity to all parties. Taking into account that the student had already completed 3 years of the course, liberty was granted to the student to apply before the committee for filing additional evidence, oral and documentary material. The Court said that in case the committee passes an adverse order against the petitioner, the same should not be given effect to and/or acted upon for four weeks thereafter from the date of communication of the order. Till then, the petitioner should be allowed to finish the engineering course, however, it would be subject to the final decision of the scrutiny committee and/or subsequent challenge, the Court clarified. Swapnil Subhash Gaikwad vs. State  of  Maharashtra, Writ Petition No. 10084 of 2010, decided on May 23, 2014

To read the judgment, click here

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