Kolkata High Court (Appellete Side

)
Utpal Mahato vs The State Of West Bengal & Ors on 14 May, 2013
Author: Dipankar Datta
1

14.05.2013
W.P. 3578 (W) of 2013
Utpal Mahato
vs.
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
by
the
Sub-Divisional
Officer,
Kalyani,

Nadia

2)

pilots.

The

and

in

that

was

(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
who
wish
to
become
commercial
petitioner
pursuance

responded
of

to
the

such

notice

selection

process

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).
2

3)
The
selection
was
followed
various
correspondences
issued
by
concerned
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

by
the

4 and 5 of the West Bengal Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Identification) Rules. It was submitted by him that although the petitioner was selected for the said course. Despite confirmation that the petitioner's certificate was genuine. Only after a prima facie satisfaction is reached and upon recording the reasons for such satisfaction that proceeding for cancellation. The power may also be exercised suo motu. the respondents demonstrated utter apathy and indifference in not coming to the aid of a socially disadvantaged person. more than 4 years were allowed to lapse because of the dilatory tactics adopted by the respondents. impounding or revocation of certificate is prescribed in Rules 3.85.000/. should he receive any complaint that a person in whose favour a certificate has been issued does not belong to such tribe. 5) Mr. inter alia. not entitled to any benefit that the Central Government intended to pass on to scheduled tribe candidates for undertaking the said course. 1994 has been enacted to provide for the identification of the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes. as may be authorized by it in this behalf. the West Bengal Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Identification) Act. M/S Chimes Aviation Pvt. However. 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. He prayed for immediate orders on the respondents to release the scholarship amount to enable the petitioner pursue the said course. 2012 to the effect that the petitioner was not a scheduled tribe and. 6) In the State of West Bengal. 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." 4) In course of admission hearing of the writ petition.to meaning thereby that he was entitled scholarship. The manner of cancellation. representing the respondents 1 to 3 submitted that a complaint was received in July. who had otherwise qualified for the award of scholarship. impound or revoke a certificate in such manner as may be prescribed. could be initiated. Section 9 of the Act confers power on the certificate issuing authority to cancel.e. learned senior advocate. . 23. 2013 seeking. 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. Ltd. Sections 4. 1995 (hereafter the Rules). It was submitted that an enquiry was in progress and depending on the result thereof. 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. as the case may be. Das. therefore.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. 5 and 6 provide the procedure for obtaining a certificate to the effect that the applicant belongs to a scheduled tribe. the respondents would decide whether or not the petitioner would be released the scholarship amount or not. impounding or revocation of the certificate. 3 to release amounting Rs. Dutta.

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

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