MLA found guilty of producing fake caste certificate

MLA found guilty of producing fake caste certificate

In a major setback to MLA M K Somashekar, the District Caste Verification Committee has ruled that the legislator does not belong to ‘Kadu Kuruba’ community.

In its order, dated April 20, the committee, headed by Deputy Commissioner C Shikha, has concluded that M K Somashekar, son of Kempanna, a resident of No 318, D Subbaiah Road, Mysuru, had failed to prove that he belongs to ‘Kadu Kuruba’ community, that comes under Scheduled Tribe (ST).

Somashekar, a second time MLA from Congress party, who represents Krishnaraja constituency, is a close aide of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. In the year 2011, the Directorate of Civil Rights Enforcement (DCRE) had also given a report against the MLA, after adducing various facts. The DCRE had vetted into the caste records of Somashekar’s brother M K Mohan, who has mentioned his caste as ‘Hindu Kuruba’ in his job-related records. Mohan had worked for KSRTC and also Mysuru City Corporation (MCC). The District Caste Verification Committee, in its meeting held later, had upheld the report of the DCRE. However, Somashekar had moved the High Court, that had promulgated an order in the year 2014 to probe the complaints afresh on five different counts. So, a tahsildar-headed committee had been formed to visit Somashekar’s native place to conduct a detailed study into various aspects.

Case

This follows a complaint to additional director general of police (ADGP), DCRE, Bengaluru, by former corporator M C Chikkanna in the year 2008. In his complaint, Chikkanna had alleged that Somashekar had obtained a LPG dealership (Shiva Gas Agency, Vidyaranyapuram), reserved for ST category from Indian Oil Corporation in the year 1984. While obtaining dealership, he had submitted dubious records, claiming to be a ‘Kadu Kuruba’ under ST.

The IOC authorities, in their response to Chikkanna under Right to Information (RTI) Act had replied that Somashekar was allotted LPG dealership under ST quota. Earlier, he had also obtained benefits meant for ST while pursuing studies at Sarada Vilas Law College and job at Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru. He had secured false caste certificate from the tahsildar’s office in the year 1980.

Before approaching the DCRE, Chikkanna, in a media briefing, had levelled similar allegations, forcing Somashekar to lodge a complaint in K R Police station, citing deleterious attempts made by the latter to tarnish his image, as it was the election year (2008).

To substantiate his caste claim, Somashekar had submitted details related to his ancestors belonging to Diddahalli tribal hamlet, Ammaththi hobli, Channaiahana Kote Gram Panchayat limits, Virajpet taluk in Kodagu district. However, a tahsildar-headed team of officials, who visited the hamlet, made a detailed study into the dwellers, lifestyle, customs and practices. Primarily, it was found that there were no ‘Kadu Kurubas’ in the hamlet, as a majority of them were ‘Jenu Kurubas’.

Prima facie, Somashekar had been found at fault, as he had contested elections to the MCC from ward 11, reserved for backward classes ‘A’ category in the year 1996.
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