Kolkata High Court (Appellete Side

Utpal Mahato vs The State Of West Bengal & Ors on 14 May, 2013
Author: Dipankar Datta

W.P. 3578 (W) of 2013
Utpal Mahato
The State of West Bengal & ors.
Mr. Murari Mohan Das
Mr. Mrinal Kanti Sardar
.........for the petitioner.
Mr. Pradip Kumar Dutta
Mr Amrita Lal Chatterjee
......for the State.

1) The petitioner claims that he belongs to Bedia tribe,
which is recognized as a scheduled tribe under the
Scheduled Tribes Order, 1950. The certificate issued









(hereafter the SDO) on 09.01.2008 is relied on in
this behalf.
A notice was published in the 'Karmakhetra'
conveying that the Government of India would
provide scholarship for scheduled tribe candidates







conducted, he was duly selected along with 4 other
scheduled tribe candidates for grant of scholarship
to pursue the Commercial Pilot Licence Course for
the year 2008-2009 (hereafter the said course).

departments for ascertaining the genuineness of the
petitioner's claim that he belongs to a scheduled
tribe. Insofar as the documents annexed to the writ
petition are concerned, it is clear that the certificate
issued in his favour was found to be genuine


Section 9 of the Act confers power on the certificate issuing authority to cancel.85. as the case may be. Das. Sections 4. the respondents would decide whether or not the petitioner would be released the scholarship amount or not. Ltd. The manner of cancellation. 4 and 5 of the West Bengal Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Identification) Rules. Rule 3(1) requires a certificate issuing authority to hold a preliminary enquiry by himself or by any other officer above the rank of Inspector of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes Welfare Department. impound or revoke a certificate in such manner as may be prescribed.e.being the scholarship money granted by the Government of India under the Post Matric Scholarship of the petitioner being Scheduled Tribe candidate for pursuing Pilot License Training Course as the petitioner has been selected by the District General of Civil Aviation and petitioner got admission in Chimes Aviation Academy i. 1995 (hereafter the Rules). 5 and 6 provide the procedure for obtaining a certificate to the effect that the applicant belongs to a scheduled tribe. learned advocate for the petitioner contended that the respondents had acted illegally and in an arbitrary manner by not releasing the scholarship amount to which the petitioner is entitled. not entitled to any benefit that the Central Government intended to pass on to scheduled tribe candidates for undertaking the said course. who had otherwise qualified for the award of scholarship. the West Bengal Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Identification) Act. 2012 to the effect that the petitioner was not a scheduled tribe and." 4) In course of admission hearing of the writ petition. the respondents demonstrated utter apathy and indifference in not coming to the aid of a socially disadvantaged person. learned senior advocate. It was submitted that an enquiry was in progress and depending on the result thereof. Dutta. He prayed for immediate orders on the respondents to release the scholarship amount to enable the petitioner pursue the said course. 2013 seeking. inter alia. impounding or revocation of the certificate. The power may also be exercised suo motu. 1994 has been enacted to provide for the identification of the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes. 23.000/. It was submitted by him that although the petitioner was selected for the said course. could be initiated. therefore. However. Only after a prima facie satisfaction is reached and upon recording the reasons for such satisfaction that proceeding for cancellation. . impounding or revocation of certificate is prescribed in Rules 3. representing the respondents 1 to 3 submitted that a complaint was received in July. 3 to release amounting Rs. more than 4 years were allowed to lapse because of the dilatory tactics adopted by the respondents. Despite confirmation that the petitioner's certificate was genuine. M/S Chimes Aviation Pvt.to meaning thereby that he was entitled scholarship. despite repeated requests by the petitioner the amount constituting scholarship was not released in his favour resulting in presentation of this writ petition before this Court on February 5. 5) Mr. as may be authorized by it in this behalf. should he receive any complaint that a person in whose favour a certificate has been issued does not belong to such tribe. Mr. the following main relief: "a) A writ of and/or in the nature of Mandamus shall not be issued commanding the respondents their men agents servants and subordinates mainly the respondent No. 6) In the State of West Bengal.

The District Magistrate has since submitted his report before the Court dated April 20. thereby disabling him to proceed further. 10) The report of the District Magistrate had been made available to Mr. The words "certificate issuing authority" in the Rules. 8) The SDO. for the purpose of the present case shall be read as the District Magistrate because the SDO has. 9) It appears therefrom that a view has been formed by the District Magistrate that there are sufficient materials on record to reach a prima facie satisfaction that the petitioner ought to be proceeded against in terms of Rule 3 of the Rules. order dated March 8. since a prima facie finding had been reached that the process envisaged by Rule 3 ought to be set in motion. Union of India). He tried to impress the Court that the District Magistrate's report is full of infirmity and that it is not worthy of being relied on. However. Medical College and ors. 2013. 2013. 2013 was made directing a preliminary enquiry to be conducted by the SDO and for placement of the report of such enquiry before the Court on March 25. 2013. 11) Reference has been made by him to the decisions of the Supreme Court reported in (1994) 6 SCC 241 (Kumari Madhuri Patil vs. the Court directed the District Magistrate. the certificate is in the custody of Mr. 2013.S. Dutta shall hand over the certificate to the authorized representative of the District Magistrate and obtain appropriate receipt. (1994) 5 SCC 244 (Committee on issue of Caste Certificate to SCs/STs vs. 2013. this Court considers it proper to direct the District Magistrate to issue the show . the date for placement of the report of enquiry was extended to April 8. the Court deprecated the haste with which the SDO proceeded to cancel the certificate issued in favour of the petitioner. In the order dated April 9. 2013. The stage is now ripe for initiating steps under sub-rule (3) of Rule 3. Dean. overstepped his limit and proceeded to cancel the certificate issued in favour of the petitioner an order dated April 3. as to whether the petitioner ought to be proceeded against or not for cancellation of the certificate issued in his favour. Caste Certificate Scrutiny Committee). Divl. The answer was in the negative. The District Magistrate was further directed to extend reasonable opportunity of hearing to the petitioner to place his version and the report of preliminary enquiry was directed to be placed before the Court on April 22. Addl.) 13) This Court considers it unnecessary to examine the applicability of the decisions that have been cited. Seth G. Mr. having regard to the fact that sub-rule (2) thereof need not be complied with at this stage since in terms of direction of this Court. Commissioner.). By an order dated March 26. Accordingly. Mr. State of Uttarakhand) and (2011) 12 SCC 656 (Varsha v. Tribal Development and ors. 12) In his turn. without being influenced by any finding arrived at by the SDO. upon receipt of the aforesaid complaint. (2011) 9 SCC 313 (Arshad Jamil v. Das. Nadia to consider afresh. Dutta. To ensure that the proceedings are not unnecessarily delayed. Dutta relied on the decision of the Supreme Court reported in (1990) 3 SCC 130 (Marri Chandra Shekhar Rao v. had been made by the SDO or not as contemplated in Rule 3(1) of the Rules. despite being under an obligation to place the report of preliminary enquiry before the Court. disabled himself to proceed further. by his conduct. The District Magistrate has recorded his prima facie satisfaction that the petitioner ought to be proceeded against for cancellation of the certificate issued in his favour. Dutta was asked as to whether any preliminary enquiry. 2013. His action demonstrated bias to take adverse action against the petitioner.7) Mr.

be made available to the learned advocate for the State on the usual undertaking. 2013. This direction is given because the petitioner has been advancing in age since his selection and he ought not to be prejudiced by reason of such advancement in age. duly countersigned by the Assistant Registrar (Court). the order of the District Magistrate if adverse to the petitioner may be challenged by him in accordance with law before the appropriate forum. J.cause notice under Rule 3(3) of the Rules by May 20. 2013. Photostat copy of this order. The petitioner shall have time till June 4. the District Magistrate shall proceed in accordance with law and shall ensure that the final order is passed by July 4. It is further made clear that the District Magistrate while proceeding against the petitioner shall duly consider the evidence that he might produce as well as to the judgments operating in the field.) . No prayer for extension of time to issue the notice or to reply thereto or to conclude the proceeding shall be granted. If necessary. After receipt of the petitioner's response or if no response is received. even if the District Magistrate were ultimately to hold in his favour. 16) Needless to observe. 14) Since a grievance has been raised on behalf of the petitioner that the so-called complaint has not yet been served on him. the show cause notice to be issued in terms of Rule 3(3) of the Rules must carry with it the said complaint and be served on the petitioner. the respondents 1. 17) In the event the District Magistrate rules in favour of the petitioner. 18) The writ petition stands disposed of. the District Magistrate shall conduct day-to-day proceedings. 2013 to respond to the said notice. There shall be no order as to costs. failing which the proceeding shall stand terminated. (DIPANKAR DATTA. 2 and 3 shall not leave any stone unturned to release the amount of scholarship in favour of the petitioner within 7 days thereafter. 15) I also hold that the petitioner shall be entitled to be represented by an advocate before the District Magistrate. The petitioner shall co-operate with the District Magistrate.

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