K.T. Sangameswaran

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the authorities concerned to issue the community certificate to a B.E. (Information Technology) student belonging to a notified Scheduled Tribe, within two months.

It also allowed petitions seeking a writ to approve her admission to the course and permit her to write all examinations, a direction to Anna University to issue the hall ticket and publish the results without insisting upon the production of the community certificate.

In its common order, a Division Bench, comprising Justices D. Murugesan and V. Periya Karuppiah, said it was a general rule that the court should not issue a positive direction to the authorities to grant a certificate. Normally it would direct them to consider the application and pass orders in the light of the observations made. However, the rule had exceptions.

When the court found that the petitioner had been unjustly denied the community certificate and in the event it was satisfied that the petitioner was entitled to the document based on the material placed, it would only be justified in issuing a positive direction.

The court’s power to issue such directions had been recognised by the Supreme Court.

V. Krishnan of Royapettah submitted he and his wife possessed the certificates issued by the Mylapore Tahsildar in June 1981 certifying that they belonged to the Hindu Kuruman community. Based on the certificates, he applied for the issue of the community certificate for his daughter, K. Jothishree. The Personal Assistant (General) to the Collector of Chennai rejected it on the ground that he had not convinced the authorities as to the manner in which the certificates were obtained from the competent authority. The Bench said in a case the Supreme Court held that the community certificate issued to an ST candidate by the Tahsildar prior to November 1989 was a valid certificate for all purposes so long as such a certificate was not cancelled. (Prior to the issue of a G.O. dated November 11, 1989, the Tahsildar had jurisdiction over issuing community certificate in respect of STs. By the G.O., the power was vested with RDO.)

The court said in several cases, the High Court had not only held that those certificates were valid, but also said that without cancelling such certificate, demanding a fresh one also was unsustainable.

The refusal by the Scheduled Tribe Certificate Issuing Officer and P.A. (General) to the Chennai Collector to rely upon the certificates solely on the ground that the petitioner had not satisfied as to the manner in which they were obtained could not be sustained, the Bench said.