Caste can’t change after marriage;SC

DAINIK NATION BUREAU

The Supreme court had set aside the appointment of a woman teacher who joined Kendriya Vidyalaya 21 years ago by taking the benefit of reservation on the ground that her husband belongs to Scheduled Caste. The bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and M M Shantanagoudar held that a person’s caste is not determined by marriage but is determined by birth.

The woman who has now become the principle of Kendriya Vidyalaya after serving as a teacher for two decades was born in an “Aggarwal” family. She was issued a caste certificate in 1991, by the District Magistrate of Bulandshahr on the basis of her marriage to a Scheduled caste man. Subsequently, in 1993, she was appointed as a postgraduate teacher of the Kendriya Vidyalaya at Pathankot in Punjab, on the basis of her qualification and caste certificate.

Later, a complaint was filed against the woman alleging that she has illegally taken the benefits that are exclusively given to the members of the Scheduled Caste category and hence her appointment should be cancelled. Subsequently, in 2015, an inquiry was conducted against her and thereafter, her caste certificate was cancelled and her appointment got terminated.

The woman then approached the Allahabad High court challenging the decision of Kendriya Vidyalaya, however, the same was dismissed. Aggrieved by the said order of the High court, the woman approached the Supreme court. The apex court while upholding the Kendriya Vidyalaya decision said that the woman being born in an upper caste family is not entitled to the benefits of reservation.

However, taking into account her unblemished service for over two decades, the Supreme court modified the High court’s order and held that the order of termination from the service shall be treated as her “compulsory retirement”.

The bench also said that “While exercising leniency, we have also kept in mind that she has neither played fraud nor misrepresented before authorities for getting the caste certificate. No questions were raised against her till the complaint came to be lodged, even when the authorities had seen the high school certificate, mark sheet etc. showing her caste as Agarwal.”

nb–lawrato

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