Persons Who Obtained Jobs with False Caste Certificates May Face Dismissal: Supreme Court

Supreme Court Law Insider

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Published on: 16 August 2023 at 10:40 IST

The Supreme Court emphasized that individuals securing public employment using false caste certificates should not be protected.

The Court overturned a judgment by the Orissa High Court that directed a public authority to consider reinstating an employee who had obtained employment in a reserved position based on a false certificate (Bhubaneswar Development Authority v. Madhumita Das & Ors).

The Court held that whether the caste certificate was submitted fraudulently or due to genuine misunderstanding is irrelevant. The intent behind the submission is of no consequence.

The bench, consisting of Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Justice J B Pardiwala, stated that providing protection to ineligible individuals for a position has a negative impact on good governance.

The Court explained that such protection would allow an ineligible individual to access a limited public resource, infringe on the rights of an eligible candidate, and perpetuate illegality by unjustly granting benefits to an ineligible person.

The case originated in 1998 when the first respondent obtained a job in the Bhubaneswar Development Authority under a post reserved for Scheduled Castes, to which she was not entitled. In 2011, an investigation began into her caste status, revealing that she acquired Scheduled Caste status after her marriage to a person from the SC category in 1993.

The Tehsildar subsequently canceled her caste certificate, leading to disciplinary action and her eventual dismissal in 2012. The employee’s argument that her caste certificate was not fraudulently obtained was rejected by the Court. The Court stated that even if the claim was genuine, her employment against a reserved post was unjust and detrimental to good governance.

This ruling reinforces the principle that public employment must be fair and equitable, and any falsification of caste identity to gain advantage is unacceptable.

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