Tamil Nadu

CJ recuses from hearing plea to issue community certificates to Brahmins

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Petitioner says Telangana govt. passed orders for issuing such certificates to them

The Chief Justice of Madras High Court Indira Banerjee on Friday recused from hearing a public interest litigation petition that sought a direction to the State government to “include Brahmins as a community in the list of communities of the State” and issue ‘community certificates’ to them as it was being done with respect to other caste groups.

When the case filed by advocate V. Arunagiri of Chennai came up for admission before the first Division Bench comprising her and Justice Abdul Quddhose, the Chief Justice said: “I don’t think I can hear this matter.”

She later directed the High Court Registry to release the case from the Bench led by her and post it before some other Division Bench of the court.

In his affidavit, the petitioner said that he was the vice-chairman of the State unit of International Human Rights Organisation and also a member of Amnesty International, though neither he nor the organisations had any personal interest in filing the PIL petition.

He claimed that his Brahmin friends informed him that community certificates were not issued to them.

Equal opportunity

In his opinion, refusing to issue such certificates to a particular community alone amounted to denying equal opportunity to all citizens irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Therefore, he sent an application under the Right to Information Act of 2005 to the Revenue Secretary on August 11 wanting to know the reason for not issuing such certificates to Brahmins.

The application was forwarded to Chennai Collector who, on October 9, replied: “As per a Government notification, the Brahmins are not classified as a community. Hence, the issue of community certificate to Brahmins does not arise.”

Such a stand taken by the revenue officials was illegal and liable to be interfered with by the court of law, the petitioner claimed.

He relied upon an order issued by the Government of Telangana on June 23 accepting a proposal sent by the Chief Commissioner of Land Administration for designating Tahsildar as competent authority to issue ‘caste certificates’ to Brahmin community pursuant to a request made by the Telangana Brahmin Sankshema Parishad.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 5:57:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cj-recuses-from-hearing-plea-to-issue-community-certificates-to-brahmins/article22912285.ece

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