Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: New guidelines better suited to Tamil Nadu to determine the authenticity of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe community certificates have been issued by the State Government.

Government Order (2D) No.108, dated September 12 and issued by the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department, outlines changes in the constitution and function of two committees.

The district-level Vigilance Committee is to examine certificates issued as Scheduled Caste and will comprise the District Collector as Chairman, the District Adi Dravidar Tribal Welfare Officer as Member Secretary and an anthropologist.

The State-level Scrutiny Committee is to examine certificates issued as Scheduled Tribe and will comprise the Secretary to the Government Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department as Chairman, the Director/Commissioner of Tribal Welfare as Member Secretary and an anthropologist. Those wishing to appeal against the final decision will need to petition the Madras High Court directly.

Members of the Schedule Castes/Scheduled Tribes seeking entry into educational institutions or jobs should file their community certificates for scrutiny six months in advance.

False certificates

If the claim for social status is found to be in question, the report will be sent to the individual, who will have 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice to reply. All certificates found to be false will be confiscated, the individual prosecuted and the concerned educational institution or appointing authority informed.

Decisions taken up to September 12 by the district-level Vigilance Committee constituted on July 6, 2005 on Scheduled Tribe certificates are final.

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