Women of forward castes cannot claim SC/ST status after getting married into either of the two communities
Holding that women of forward castes cannot claim Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe status after getting married to men belonging to either of the two communities, the Delhi High Court has upheld an order of the Central Administrative Tribunal rejecting the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan's decision to dismiss from service a woman recruited under the reserved quota for the Scheduled Tribes.
A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Siddharth Mridul upheld the decision of the Tribunal saying that the Sangathan was very lax in recruiting the woman and then woke up from deep slumber 15 years later to take action against her.
Another factor which went in favour of the woman was a ruling of the Supreme Court that the court has to make a distinction between those who get jobs under the quota meant for persons belonging to the two communities by committing fraud upon the authorities and those who have availed of the benefit believing that they have been admitted to either of the two communities by getting married to men belonging to one of them.
The Sangathan had appointed the woman, Shanti Acharya Sisigi, as a primary teacher way back in 1988 under the reserved quota meant for persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes.
She had also produced the relevant certificate issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Singhbhum in Jharkhand. She had got married to a person belonging to the Munda community.
Fifteen years later, the Sangathan issued a notice to the woman challenging her claim that she belonged to a Scheduled Tribe.
The Sangathan also appointed an inquiry officer to probe the charge. On completion of investigation the inquiry officer had held that the woman did not belong to a Scheduled Tribe as claimed by her.
The woman had then challenged the order of the inquiry officer before the Tribunal. The Tribunal had quashed the order.
The High Court judgment came on a petition by the Sangathan against the Tribunal's order.
“We deem it appropriate to dispose of the writ petition maintaining the impugned order which has quashed the order of removal from service inflicted upon the respondent, requiring her reinstatement. However, we direct that the respondent would not be treated as a member of a Scheduled Tribe in future,” the Bench said.