HC orders probe into remarks erased on official document

The Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra Government to conduct a probe to find out how a case of issuing SC/ST certificate to an applicant was rejected by the relevant committee when its Chairman was absent during the hearing, in clear violation of rules.

Acting on a petition, it also asked the State to probe allegations that a remark in pencil on the rejection letter to obtain the Chairman's signature was erased from the original document.

The Court felt this was a serious lapse as the hearing was conducted by only two officers of the Caste Scrutiny Committee.

It asked the State to look into the conduct of the panel's Chairman, Yevle Patil, who was not present during the proceedings on April 28, 2011.

The HC asked the Government to inform what action it proposed to take against the officer concerned if there was a lapse on his part.

According to rules, all the members, including Chairman, are required to be present during the hearing to issue caste certificates.

The petitioner produced before the Court a copy of the rejection order which contained a note written with pencil that Patil's signature was to be obtained. However, the official document tabled before the court did not contain that note as it was apparently erased, a Bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar observed recently.

The case pertained to one Amrutlal Kanjaraiya, who had got a job in Bombay Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) in reserved category. He had to produce a certificate from the Scrutiny Committee to show he belonged to SC/ST category. Since his claim was rejected, he moved the HC.

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