BHARAT DATTATRAY CHAUDHARI Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
LAWS(BOM)-2017-2-93
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Decided on February 03,2017

Bharat Dattatray Chaudhari Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Per R.M. Borde, J. - (1.) Rule. Rule is made returnable forthwith. Respondents waive service. By consent of parties, Petition is taken up for final disposal at the stage of admission.
(2.) Petitioner claims to be belonging to Kunbi Caste which is included in Other Backward Category. Petitioner is objecting to the decision rendered by the Divisional Caste Scrutiny Committee No.3, Pune dated 13.08.2015, directing invalidation of the Caste Certificate issued to the Petitioner. Petitioner obtained a Caste Certificate from the Sub-Divisional Officer, Bhor Sub-Division, Pune containing certification that he is a member of Hindu Kunbi Caste which is included in Other Backward Category. The Caste Certificate issued to the Petitioner was referred for verification to Divisional Caste Scrutiny Committee since the Petitioner contested elections to Municipal Corporation in the year 2012 as against the seat reserved for Other Backward Category. The Scrutiny Committee, on receipt of the proposal directed investigation through the Vigilance Cell. The Vigilance Cell constituted under the provisions of the Act conducted a detailed inquiry and submitted its report to the Committee on 24.01.2012. The Vigilance Cell submitted its report on examination of documents furnished by the Petitioner as well as on the basis of scrutiny of the original record and also after recording the statement of near relations of the Petitioner and the persons residing in the locality. Report of the Vigilance Cell supports the contention raised by the Petitioner. The Scrutiny Committee forwarded the report of the Vigilance Cell to the Petitioner, calling upon him to submit his comments. On receipt of the comments from the Petitioner in respect of the Vigilance Inquiry Report, the Scrutiny committee, after recording evidence and after extending an opportunity of hearing to the Petitioner, was satisfied as regards the genuineness of the claim of the Petitioner and, as such, directed validation of the Caste Certificate issued in favour of the Petitioner.
(3.) Respondent No.5 herein, who had contested elections to the Municipal Corporation opposing the candidature of the Petitioner, objected to the validation certificate issued to the Petitioner by Scrutiny Committee by presenting Writ Petition to this Court bearing No.2869 of 2013. It was the contention of the objector that the order passed by the Scrutiny Committee does not contain any reasons to support the conclusion. On consideration of the objection raised by the objector i.e. Respondent No.5, this Court was pleased to direct quashment of the validation certificate and remitted the matter for reconsideration to the Scrutiny Committee. After remanding of the matter to the Scrutiny Committee, the Committee once again called for the Report of the Vigilance Cell. The Vigilance Cell conducted local inquiry and tendered its report. Petitioner was directed to submit his reply in respect of the objections raised by the Scrutiny Committee to the report tendered by the Vigilance Cell. Petitioner tendered his explanation to the Scrutiny Committee on 28/10/2014. After considering the Report tendered by the Vigilance Cell, explanation tendered by the Petitioner in respect of objections raised by the Scrutiny Committee as well as on consideration of the objections raised by Respondent No.5 and on perusal of the documentary evidence produced by the Petitioner before the Committee for substantiating his claim, the Scrutiny Committee arrived at a conclusion that the Petitioner has failed to substantiate his claim and by order dated 13.08.2015 directed invalidation of the Caste Certificate issued to the Petitioner.;


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