Writ Petition No. 10913 of 2014. Case: Jagdish Revansiddha Patil Vs The State of Maharashtra & Anr.. High Court of Bombay (India)

Case NumberWrit Petition No. 10913 of 2014
CounselFor Appellant: Mr. Y. S. Jahagirdar, Senior Advocate with Mr. S. S. Kanetkar, Adv. and For Respondents: Mr. A. A. Kumbhakoni, Senior Advocate with Mr. A. M. Kulkarni i/b M. R. Deshpande, Mr. R. S. Alange and Ms. Chaitrali Deshmukh, Mr. P. G. Kathane, AGP for the State, Mr. S. B. Shetye, Mrs. D. S. Mondkar, Ms. Shreya Jadhav, Advs.
JudgesRanjit More & Smt. Anuja Prabhudessai, JJ.
IssueMaharashtra Schedule Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Denotified Tribes (Vimukta Jatis), Nomadic Tribes, Other Backward Category (Regulation of Issuance and Verification of) Caste Certificate Act, 2000 - Section 10; Constitution of India - Article 226
Judgement DateOctober 21, 2016
CourtHigh Court of Bombay (India)


Ranjit More, J.

  1. By this petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the Petitioner is challenging the judgment and order dated 29th November 2014 passed by the caste scrutiny committee, Solapur, the order dated 2nd December 2014 passed by the Commissioner, Solapur Municipal Corporation and the circular / order dated 17th July 2013 issued by the State Election Commissioner, Maharashtra State.

  2. By the order dated 29th November 2014, the caste scrutiny committee invalidated the Petitioner's caste claim that he belongs to "Teli" caste, which is notified as Other Backward Class [for short "OBC"]. On the basis of above order of the caste scrutiny committee, the Commissioner of Solapur Municipal Corporation passed the order dated 2nd December 2014 thereby declaring that the Petitioner is disqualified and that his seat is deemed to have fallen vacant. By the circular dated 17th July 2013, the State Election Commission has authorised the Commissioners of Municipal Corporations to pass formal order of declaring any councillor as disqualified on account of his caste claim being invalidated by the caste scrutiny committee irrespective of the pendency of any election petition.

  3. In order to support his caste claim that he belongs to "Teli" caste, the Petitioner has mainly relied upon the following documents:

    [1] Birth Extract dated 22nd April 1934 of Revansiddha Muttyappa Patil, father of the Petitioner.

    [2] Birth extract dated 25th March 1936 of Apparao Muttyappa Patil, real uncle of the Petitioner.

    [3] Loan receipt dated 21st October 1954 on Six Anna Stamp given by Revansiddha, fatehr of the Petitioner to Fulchand Kashinath Heblekar.

    [4] Loan receipt dated 28th June 1955 on 1½ stamp given by Revansidha Mutyappa Patil to Basappa Satlingappa Aadake.

    [5] Khoti Receipt dated 13th January 1931 beween Mutyappa Apparao Patil and Bhimu Basappa Patil.

  4. The caste scrutiny committee called for the report from vigilance cell. The officers of the vigilance cell accordingly examined the original documents from Tahisldar's office as well as from the custody of Petitioner and submitted report to the caste scrutiny committee. So far as the first two documents are concerned, the vigilance cell formed an opinion that entries therein appear to be suspicious. Regarding rest of the three documents, the vigilance cell has not given any adverse remark. So far as first two documents are concerned, the scrutiny committee relied upon report of the vigilance cell. In addition to this, the caste scrutiny committee examined original documents relied upon by Respondent No.5 and concluded that first two documents relied upon by the Petitioner to support his caste claim are bogus and fabricated. As far as document No.3 and 4 namely, loan receipts dated 21st October 1954 and 28th June 1955, are concerned, the caste scrutiny committee held that on these documents there is no signature of Petitioner's father. It was further found that though stamps on which these receipts were transcribed were purchased by Fulchand Heblekar and Basappa Aadake and executed by them, there is vast difference in their signatures made at the time of purchase of stamp and signatures made at the time of execution of the document. The Caste scrutiny committee therefore concluded that these two receipts are bogus and fabricated. Regarding the last document, namely, Khoti receipt, the caste scrutiny committee found that the same is on simple paper and not registered therefore refused to take the same into consideration.

  5. Mr. Jahagirdar, the learned Senior Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that the caste scrutiny committee ought to have called for the original record from the tahsildar's office before arriving at the conclusion in respect of the first two documents. He further submitted that without verifying the same, the conclusion in respect of these documents could not have been arrived at by the committee. He also submitted that the finding of the caste scrutiny committee about the interpolation of words or entires in the record is not sustainable without calling for the expert opinion or without doing exercise of comparison between the disputed hand-writing and admitted hand-writing. Regarding the loan receipts, Mr. Jahagridar relied upon the report of the vigilance cell. In this regard, he submitted that loan receipts were executed in the year 1954-55 and therefore have more probative value and the caste scrutiny committee could not have discarded these receipts. With respect to the last document, Mr. Jahagirdar submitted that merely because document is not registered, the committee could not have refused to take the same into consideration for ascertaining the caste claim of the Petitioner.

  6. Mr. Kumbhakoni, the...

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