To check false claimants gaining admissions.

The State government has decided to constitute Vigilance Cells in Tiruchi and three other regions to verify the genuineness of community status of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes at the field level in a bid to check false claimants gaining admissions into educational institutions or employment.

The regional-level cells would be constituted in consonance with the orders of the Supreme Court and as per directions of the Madras High Court in Chennai, Salem, and Madurai regions too. The government has sanctioned staff for each cell, which would have certain districts under its ambit.

Each cell would function under the supervision of a senior Deputy Superintendent of Police and comprise of Inspector/Sub Inspector and a Constable on deputation basis. The cells would work directly under the control of the Director of Tribal Welfare, Chennai.

They would take up cases referred to it by the District Level Vigilance Committee/State Level Scrutiny Committee for verification of the genuineness of community certificate and SC/ST community status of the individual and submit a report to the committee.

The committee would refer the case after receiving an application from the employer/recruiting agency for verification of the genuineness of the community certificate of the individual.

The vigilance officer would go to the local place of residence and the original place from where the individual hailed from and personally verify and collect all facts of social status claimed by the individual or the parent or guardian as the case may be.

The order stipulates that the officer should examine the school records and birth registration, if any besides examining the parent, guardian or the individual in relation to their caste as well as other persons who have knowledge of the social status of the individual concerned and submit a report with all particulars to the District Level Vigilance Committee / State Level Scrutiny Committee.

If the claim for social status was found to be “not genuine” or “doubtful” or falsely claimed, on receipt of the report from the vigilance officer, the committee would issue show cause notice to the individual or through the head of the institution concerned where the individual was studying or employed to reply.

Reasonable opportunity would be given to the individual / parent / guardian to adduce all evidences in support of their claim for the social status. The committee would conduct an inquiry and if it finds the claim to be false or bogus, an order would be passed cancelling the certificate issued and confiscate it.

The order passed by the committees shall be final and conclusive only subject to the proceedings under Article 226 of the constitution. In case, the certificate obtained or social status claimed was found to be false, the parent/guardian / individual should be prosecuted for making a bogus claim, the government order states.

If the prosecution ends up in conviction and sentence of the accused, it could be regarded as an offence involving moral turpitude, disqualification for elective posts or offices under the State or the Union.

As soon as the finding is recorded by the scrutiny committee holding that the certificate obtained was false, it should be communicated to the educational institution concerned or the appointing authority with a request to cancel the admission or the appointment, the order further says.

The whole aim is to protect the welfare of the genuine SC / ST persons from false claimants, a senior official said. The Secretary, Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department is the chairman of the State Level Scrutiny Committee, while the Collector is the chairman of the District Level Vigilance Committee.