Decided on January 24,2003



- (1.) The petitioner, Kumari T. Punitha, D/o. S. Thiyagarajan, Puthukottai, Tamilnadu, in O.P. No. 13172/2002 of this Court, is the appellant. She belongs to Hindu 'Paraya' community, which is recognised as a Scheduled Caste, as per the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Orders (Amendment) Act, 1976, vide Serial No. 56 of the Schedule, in short 'the order of 1976', The father of the appellant is residing in Kerala from 1982 onwards and is working in H.M.T. Limited from 9.8.1992. While studying in 12th standard at Kendriya Vidyalaya, NAD, Aluva, she applied for the entrance examination for admission to the Professional Degree Courses 2002, for Engineering and Medical / Agricultural Courses. The application was submitted in the form prescribed exclusively for admission to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates. The caste of the appellant was certified in Ext. P1 certificate by the Tahsildar of Puthukkottai. The, 2nd respondent, Tahsildar, Kanayannur Taluk, Kochi - 11, instead of furnishing a certificate in the appropriate place of the application form for admission to the entrance examination, issued a separate Ext. P2 certificate stating that the appellant belongs to Hindu Paraya Caste according to Ext. P1 certificate. The application was consequently rejected by the first respondent, the Commissioner of Entrance Examinations, Thiruvananthapuram, and issued Ext. P3 memo stating that no community certificate in the body of the application as stipulated in the prospectus 2002 was furnished. The same was challenged through an Original Petition praying for a direction to the first respondent Commissioner to declare her result as well as to admit her to the course on the basis of the result so declared treating her as a candidate belonging to the Scheduled Caste Community. The learned Single Judge as per the judgment dated 26.6.2002, held that Ext. P2 certificate is based on a Government Order dated 12.2.1986. Therefore, the petitioner cannot seek the benefit of the Scheduled Caste. However, the learned Single Judge observed that, even if caste is not mentioned in the application, one's entitlement based on general merit cannot be denied, and on that ground, quashed Ext. P3 and directed the first respondent Commissioner to declare the result of the Entrance Examination and to consider the appellant for admission to Professional Courses based on such ranking against general merit quota. In this Writ Appeal, the findings of the learned Single Judge that the appellant cannot seek the benefit of Scheduled Caste is challenged.
(2.) We heard the learned counsel appearing for the appellant as well as the learned Government Pleader.
(3.) The point that arise in this Writ Appeal for decision is whether the appellant, T.Punitha, who is accepted as 'Paraya' in Tamilnadu, can claim the same benefit, if a caste having similar nomenclature is accepted as Scheduled Caste in Kerala State.;

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