BHAGYASHREE D/O VINOD KELKAR Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA THROUGH ITS SECRETARY TRIBAL DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT MANTRALAYA, MUMBAI
LAWS(BOM)-2017-7-370
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Decided on July 27,2017

Bhagyashree D/O Vinod Kelkar Appellant
VERSUS
State Of Maharashtra Through Its Secretary Tribal Development Department Mantralaya, Mumbai Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Swapna Joshi, J. - (1.) By this petition, the petitioner has challenged the decision of respondent no.2Committee for Scrutiny and Verification of Tribe Claims, Amravati, rendered on 20.7.2002, by which the caste certificate of the petitioner as belonging to 'Raj' Scheduled Tribe, issued by the SubDivisional Officer, Murtizapur on 1.7.1998 has been invalidated.
(2.) The petitioner was a student, at the relevant point of time. The petitioner claims that she belongs to 'Raj' community, which has been notified as a Scheduled Tribe at Sr. No.18 in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order,1950 in relation to the State of Maharashtra. The caste claim of the petitioner was referred to the Scrutiny Committee for the purpose of verification. The petitioner submitted in support of her tribe claim, fourteen documents including the documents pertaining to preConstitution era, before the said Committee. However, the said Committee without considering those documents, passed the order invalidating the tribe claim of the petitioner mainly on the ground that the petitioner has failed to establish sociocultural affinity and ethnic linkage with 'Raj' subtribe of 'Gond', Scheduled Tribe. The Committee observed, " 'Raj' Scheduled Tribe has not been listed as an independent single entry, but it has been clubbed along with numerous of the synonyms and subtribes included in the Gond, Scheduled Tribe, listed at Sr. No.18." The Committee further observed that the information provided by the petitioner about his family and community deities, marital ceremonies, family deity, the ceremonies observed after birth, rites performed after death, family and community deities of the family etc. do not resemble with that of 'Raj'. The Committee relied upon the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Dadaji @ Dina vs. Sukhdeo Babu & others,1980 SCR 150, wherein it has been held that "only the 'Mana' community having affiliation with the 'Gond' Scheduled Tribe will fall within the scope of the entry". It is observed in the impugned order passed by the said Committee that the applicant could not bring out the distinct sociocultural traits, customs and traditions prevalent in 'Raj' subtribe of 'Gond' Scheduled Tribe. Whatever information has been furnished by the applicant drifts away from that with regard to the traits and characteristics of 'Raj' subtribe of 'Gond' Scheduled Tribe community. Thus, the Scrutiny Committee rejected the tribe claim of the petitioner.
(3.) It is pertinent to note that the controversy involved in this petition is no more res integra, in view of the decision of the Hon'ble Apex Court, in the case of State of Maharashtra and others vs. Mana Adim Jamat Mandal, 2006 4 SCC 98. The Hon'ble Apex Court has held that the judgments one in the case of Dina vs. Narayansingh,1968 38 ELR 212 and, another, in the case of Dadaji @ Dina vs. Sukhdeo Babu, 1980 1 SCC 621 stand impliedly overruled by the decision of Constitution Bench of the Hon'ble Apex Court, in the case of State of Maharashtra vs. Milind, 2001 1 SCC 4. The Hon'ble Apex Court in State of Maharashtra vs. Mana Adim Jamat Mandal held that each of the tribes specified in Entry No.18 must be deemed to be a separate tribe and not subtribe of 'Gond'.;


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