Updated May 1st, 2024 at 17:55 IST

Cal HC Rejects Petitioner's Request To Withdraw PIL Alleging Issuance of Fake Caste Certificates

The Calcutta High Court declined a petitioner's prayer to withdraw a PIL filed by him alleging issuance of fake caste certificates. The court directed that the matter will appear for hearing again on June 20.

Cal HC Rejects Petitioner's Request To Withdraw PIL Alleging Issuance of Fake Caste Certificates | Image:PTI
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Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday declined a petitioner's prayer to withdraw a PIL filed by him alleging that fake caste certificates were obtained by some persons and on the basis of those, they secured appointments in different primary and secondary schools.

The PIL was being heard by the court along with another prayer which alleged that fraudulent caste certificates denoting people from other communities as Scheduled Caste were issued in various districts of West Bengal.

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The court had earlier directed the secretary of the Backward Classes Welfare Department to verify the caste certificates issued and file a report before it, and this will be submitted by the state in a tabular form on the next date of hearing on June 20.

Petitioner Ajoy Ghosh, when asked by the court as to why he wanted to withdraw his PIL, claimed that his lawyer was not pleading his matter properly.

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A division bench presided by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam, holding that this stand taken by the petitioner is absolutely false as the lawyer representing Ghosh appeared in all hearings, refused permission to him to withdraw his petition.

"Considering the sensitivity of the matter, permission for withdrawal is declined," the bench, also comprising Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, directed.

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The bench also questioned the petitioner as to whether any pressure was exerted on him by any third party or any private parties in his petition to withdraw his PIL, but Ghosh said that no such thing has happened.

Ghosh, who stated before the court that he was a farmer by profession, was, however, allowed to change his lawyer.

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During an earlier hearing of Ghosh's PIL, the bench had said that if the allegation made by him in the petition is found to be true, it is a very serious matter and requires thorough investigation and all the officers, who are involved in issuance of such fake certificates, have to be prosecuted and disciplinary action has to be initiated against them.

Ghosh has alleged in his petition that fake Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe certificates were obtained by some persons and that on the basis of those, they secured appointments in different primary and secondary schools.

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The other similar PIL filed by Paschim Banga Bouri Samaj Unnayan Samity, along with which Ghosh's petition is being heard, alleged that fraudulent caste certificates have been issued rampantly by several sub-divisional officers in various districts in the state certifying people from other communities as belonging to Scheduled Caste.

The court had noted that the National Commission of Scheduled Castes has taken up the matter and made appropriate recommendations to the state authorities.

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The court had on December 12, 2023, directed the secretary, Backward Classes Welfare Department to issue appropriate circulars to all the district magistrates to cause appropriate verification of the caste certificates issued, more particularly which were issued in the recent past.

It had also directed that a standard operating procedure be devised at the state level and communicated to the district magistrates, who would direct the appropriate authority to conduct proper investigation of the genuineness of the caste certificate issued.

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The bench had directed the secretary of the Backward Classes Welfare Department to file a report before this court.

Noting that the documents were voluminous, the court had on April 14 directed the authority concerned of the state government to file an affidavit containing precise details of verification and action taken in a tabulated format.

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This will be produced before the court on the next date of hearing on June 20, the state's lawyer submitted on Wednesday.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Republic staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Published May 1st, 2024 at 17:53 IST