Lucknow: On July 6, the Supreme Court, comprising of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice N.V. Ramana said that people who have secured reserved government jobs or seats in educational institutions using fake caste certificates would definitely lose their positions. The bench said that those who have used fake caste certificate to earn jobs or admissions will be prosecuted no matter how much time has been passed since the offense was committed. The government had informed the Lok Sabha in March that 1,832 appointments were allegedly secured based on fake caste certificates.
This verdict came as a disagreement with a Bombay High Court decision, 2014, that public servants who secured their jobs using fake caste certificates and have spent considerable time in service can be afforded protection. The Bombay HC had offered protection to employees with fake certificates and allowed them to remain in service if they had spent time on the job.
The verdict came as a response to a batch of petitions, one of them, was a challenge by the Maharashtra government against the Bombay High Court order. In its order, the apex court prevent the misuse of caste certificates or a fake certificates, which if found forged, will lead the person to losing both.
According to the top court, the findings of its verdict would not be applicable with retrospective effect and would be applied from now onwards.
The three-judge bench of the high court had framed two questions ,”whether the relief of protection of service after invalidation of the caste claim can be granted by the high court on the basis of a 2012 apex court judgement? if the answer is ‘yes’, then, can such relief of protection of service be granted to them whose cases have already been rejected by it?” The high court had agreed to the first question. The apex court holds the opinion that mere invalidation of caste certificate, by the state scrutiny committee, would not lead to cessation of service of the errant employee who had got the job based on fake certificates.
ALSO READ: Supreme Court allows Dissident Congress MLAs to Submit Resignation to Speaker, MLAs reach Bengaluru to meet Speaker
According to the judgement, “The fault-lines of our system, be it in education, health or law, are that its lethargy and indolence furnish incentives for the few who choose to break the rules to gain an unfair advantage”.
“In such a situation, the court as a vital institution of democratic governance must be firm in sending out a principled message that there is no incentive other than for behaviour compliant with rules and deviance will meet severe reprimand of the law.”