Sunday, January 29, 2023

Madhya Pradesh High Court dismisses PIL seeking fresh inquiry into caste certificate of IAS officer

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently dismissed a PIL seeking independent inquiry afresh with regard to the caste certificate of an IAS officer.

The PIL was filed by Phoolchand Kulaste in 2009, praying for a direction to the state government to hold proper and independent inquiry afresh with regard to caste certificate of Virendra Kumar Batham, IAS posted as Secretary, Tribal & Scheduled Caste Welfare Department, Mantralaya, Bhopal.

It was alleged by the petitioner that Batham,who belongs to Other Backward Classes (OBC), has obtained benefit throughout his educational and service career on the basis of a forged caste certificate showing his caste as “Keer”, which falls under the Scheduled Tribes category.

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The Jabalpur Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla recently observed that the petition is directed against an individual, the same cannot be entertained as a public interest litigation. Even otherwise, the matter is pending for the past 12 years and no useful purpose would be served in keeping this petition pending.

“The petition is accordingly dismissed as not maintainable. However, it will be open for the petitioner to avail any other remedy, as may be available to him in law”, the order read.

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