TENNYDARD M. MARAK Vs. STATE OF MEGHALAYA
HIGH COURT OF MEGHALAYA
Tennydard M. Marak
STATE OF MEGHALAYA
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T. NANDAKUMAR SINGH, J. -
(1.) AS prayed for by the parties, the present writ petition (PIL) is taken up for deciding the preliminary issue as to whether the present writ petition in the form of PIL is maintainable or not. For deciding the maintainability of the present writ petition in the form of PIL, this Court is called for to decide the two core questions: -
(i) Whether the petitioner has the locus standi or the petitioner is an aggrieved party to file the present PIL? (ii) Whether the present PIL is the proper forum/procedure for the relief sought for in the present writ petition (PIL)?
The relief sought for in the present PIL reads as follows: -
"It is, therefore, prayed that Your Lordships may be pleased to issue a Rule setting aside Order No.TGC.7/2009/222 dated 17.07.2013 passed by Shri.Pravin Bakshi, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills, Tura, Meghalaya (respondent No.4).
And call upon the respondents to show cause as to why the respondents No.1 to 4 and specially the respondent No.3 and 4 should not be directed to produce the Caste Certificate (Sic. S.T. Certificate) No.TGC -18/81/6295 dated 23.06.1982 issued by the respondent No.4 in favour of Dr. Mukul M Sangma (respondent No.5) and on such production as to why the said Caste Certificate (Sic S.T. Certificate) issued in favour of Dr. Mukul M Sangma (respondent No.5) should not be cancelled;
And call for the records and on hearing such cause or causes as may be shown by the respondents, make the Rule absolute and direct the respondent No.4 to cancel the Caste Certificate (Sic S.T. Certificate) No.TGC -18/81/6295 dated 23.06.1982 issued in favour of Dr. Mukul M Sangma (respondent No.5) and/or pass such or further orders as Your Lordships may seem fit and proper."
(2.) HEARD Mr. OP Bhati, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and Mr. KS Kynjing, learned Advocate General, Megh -alaya assisted by Mr. ND Chullai, learned Sr. GA for the State respondents.
Factual Matrix (pleaded case of the petitioner) leading to the filing of the present PIL: - The petitioner came across details about the parentage of respondent No.5 (Dr. Mukul M Sangma, present Chief Minister of Meghalaya) vis - - -vis his caste certificate (Sic S.T. Certificate) from the information available on a website and on being very much disturbed and shocked on his claim of belonging to "Sangma" caste, the petitioner had filed an application for cancellation of the caste certificate (Sic S.T. Certificate) issued to the respondent No.5 as far back as on 23.06.1982 bearing No.TCG - 18/81/6295. The said caste certificate (Sic S.T. Certificate) was obtained by the respondent No.5 by misrepresentation and suppressing the material facts and as such, the said caste certificate (Sic S.T. Certificate) is liable to be cancelled for the reasons that the respondent No.5 was born on 24.09.1965 at Chengko -mpara village, West Garo Hills District to Binoy Bhusan M Marak and Roshanara Begum. The mother of the respondent No.5 was a Muslim throughout her life and this fact is apparent on going through the electoral roll, 1983 of 58 Ampatgiri (ST) Assembly Constituency, Meghalaya at Sl.No.359. However, the title or caste of the mother of the respondent No.5 has been shown as Sangma in the electoral roll, 2004 of the said Constituency at Sl.No.283. The marriage between Shri.Binoy Bhusan Marak (Garo) and (L) Roshanara Begum, even though, was valid but the facts remain that the children born out of wedlock between them do not acquire the status of a Garo Tribal according to the social customs and usages and customary practices so universally prevalent among the Garo people (Scheduled Tribe) as a whole.
(3.) IT is the pleaded case of the petitioner that the Garo (Scheduled Tribe) society follows matrilineal system and the descent is always traced and accorded through mother alone. Being so, in a Garo family, the children belong to mother's clan. For instance, if a mother belongs to a Sangma clan and the father to a Marak clan, the children all become Sangma and not Marak. As the mother of the respondent No.5 was a Muslim by faith and non - Garo, who hailed from Nagoan in the State of Assam, the respondent No.5 could not be a member of the Scheduled Tribe "Garo" according to the customs and usages prevalent in the Garo society. On the strength of such certificate (Scheduled Tribe certificate) that the respondent No.5 is a member of the Scheduled Tribe community or Sangma clan, he not only enrolled as a voter belonging to the tribal (Scheduled Tribe) but also contested the elections to the Megha -laya Legislative Assembly from Ampatigiri (a reserved Constituency for Scheduled Tribes) in the years 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013 respectively and now he has become the Chief Minister of Meghalaya. Since, the caste certificate (Sic S.T. Certificate)issued is not a valid one for the reasons alluded above, the election of the respondent No.5 to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly from a reserved constituency was/is void -ab -initio.;
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