Skip to content


N. Chandrika Vs. Chairman, Selection Committee - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.P.No. 196 of 1985
Judge
Reported inILR1987KAR998
ActsKarnataka Medical Colleges (Selection for Admission) Rules, 1981 - Rule 10(1)
AppellantN. Chandrika
RespondentChairman, Selection Committee
Appellant AdvocateK. Channabasappa, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateN. Devadas, HCGP
Excerpt:
.....unless there is evidence that it is false or there are reasons to arrive at contrary conclusion -- selection committee cannot on its own reasoning set at naught certificate of tahsildar.;in exercise of the constitutional mandate under the power conferred on it, the state government alone has the power to determine and identify the backward castes and backward communities. once they are so identified, all that the members of the caste need prove is the fact that they belong to such a caste. the certificate issued by the tahsildar as required by the selection rules is prima facie, conclusive evidence of the caste a candidate belongs to unless the selection committee has reasons to come to a contrary conclusion. power to determine the eligibility to the right of reservation is given but not..........to the academic year 1984-85. the petitioner, kumari n. chandrika, belongs to what is known as 'stanika caste'. that caste, under government order bearing no. swl 12 tbs 77 dated 22nd february, 1977, is listed as one of the backward castes at sl. no. 114 for purpose of article 15 of the constitution. it is needless for this court to repeat that such listing entitled her to claim a seat within the quota reserved for backward castes. but after being interviewed by the selection committee constituted under the karnataka medical colleges (selection for admission) rules, 1984, her application was rejected to be considered for a seat in the quota reserved for backward castes on the sole ground that her ancestors were all ayurvedic pandits and never worked as servants of the temple and.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Chandrakantaraj Urs, J.

1. This Petition is the second round of litigation by the petitioner in this Court. She was an applicant for a seat in the 1 Year M.B.B.S. Course in one of the Government Medical Colleges or in Colleges where Government had control over the seats. Her application related to the academic year 1984-85. The petitioner, Kumari N. Chandrika, belongs to what is known as 'Stanika Caste'. That caste, under Government Order bearing No. SWL 12 TBS 77 dated 22nd February, 1977, is listed as one of the backward castes at Sl. No. 114 for purpose of Article 15 of the Constitution. It is needless for this Court to repeat that such listing entitled her to claim a seat within the quota reserved for backward castes. But after being interviewed by the Selection Committee constituted under the Karnataka Medical Colleges (Selection for Admission) Rules, 1984, her application was rejected to be considered for a seat in the quota reserved for backward castes on the sole ground that her ancestors were all Ayurvedic Pandits and never worked as servants of the temple and therefore there was no proof that she was a stanika. In that circumstance, she approached this Court in W.P.No. 16270/1984. By an order dated 8th November 1984 this Court directed the Selection Committee in the following terms :

'(i) The Writ Petition is allowed ;

(ii) A writ in the nature of mandamus shall issue to the 1st respondent to reconsider the case of the petitioner

for selection against one of the seats reserved for back-ward class after holding such enquiry as it deems fit, but in conformity with the rules of natural justice;

(iii) If after the enquiry the Selection Committee finds that the claim of the petitioner for. selection against one of the seats reserved for backward class is well founded, the Selection Committee shall proceed to select her for admission against one such seat during the current academic year, if on the basis of the marks obtained by her in the entrance test, she is found entitled for such selection. If, on the other hand, the Selection Committee comes to the conclusion that the petitioner has not established her claim for selection against one of the seats reserved for backward class, the Selection Committee shall communicate the decision with reasons, to the petitioner.'

2. Thereafter, she was given an opportunity by the Selection Committee to place her claims before them once again. By Proceedings of the Meeting of the Selection Committee for Admission to M.B.B.S. Course held on 11-12-1984 together with the Member Secretary, he issued an endorsement as follows :

'The Selection Committee considered the claim of Kum. N. Chandrika, as per orders of the Hon'ble High Court in Writ Petition No. 16270 of 1984 dated 8-11-1984. Kum. N. Chandrika appeared before the Selection on 11-12-1984.

Kum. N. Chandrika produced the same certificates which she had produced earlier. The entries in her cumulative record shows her father's occupation as 'Ayurvedic Physician'. She also informed that she has never availed the benefit available to persons belonging to backward castes earlier. She did not produce any additional or fresh proof in support of her claim under backward caste.

In view of this, the Selection Committee unanimously reiterates its earlier decision rejecting her claim under backward caste category.'

The same was communicated to the petitioner. Aggrieved by the same, she has approached this Court once again. In this Writ Petition the petitioner has inter alia contended that the respondent-Selection Committee has erred in rejecting her claims without even levelling a charge against her; that the certificate produced by her that she belongs to 'Stanika' caste is a false one, a forged one or something obtained by fraud. It is further contended that the Selection Committee has no right to disbelieve the certificate issued unless it is found to be false, forged or fraudulently obtained.

3. The Selection Committee is represented by the learned Government Pleader on the show cause notice issued by this Court as to why rule should not be issued and he has made the records available once again to this Court. The contentions are :

(1) That at the second opportunity given to her, it was proved that she was not eligible on her own admission to the benefit of the seat reserved for backward caste and further that this Court had clearly enunciated in the case of Selection Committee for Admission to Medical Colleges v. Vidya Rajagopal [1982(1) Karnataka taw Journal, 1] ; that such rejection can be made by the Selection Committee.

(2) That the Selection Committee had the authority to decide who was eligible for a seat in the reserved category for backward castes and communities etc., and that decision was final.

4. I do not think either of the contentions advanced for the respondent-Selection Committee should be accepted by this Court.

5. That the petitioner has produced a certificate that she belongs to 'Stanika' caste by the authority who is required to issue such certificate and submitted the same along with her application is not in dispute and was never in dispute. It has never been the case of the Selection Committee that the certificate is a fraud or not a genuine one. In the first instance, the following endorsement was made on her application;

'Ancestors are all Ayurvedic Drs. and not associated with pooja work in temple. Stanika no proof. B.C.T. rejected.'

6. After her Writ Petition came to be allowed resulting in the direction which has been extracted above, the reasons for once again rejecting her claim are :

(1) That the petitioner has produced the same certificates which she had produced earlier.

(2) That her father's occupation has been shown as 'Ayurvedic Physician' ;

(3) That she informed that she had never availed the benefit of reservation before ;

(4) That she did not produce additional proof in support of her claim under backward caste.

7. This is rather strange. In the Book 'Castes and Tribes of Southern India' by E. Thurston a recognised authority on the subject, 'Stanikas' are said to be very few in number on the date of the writing of the book. 'Stanikas' are described as persons who claim to be Brahmins but not accepted as such by other Brahmins. They are said to be generally Sivites. Stanikas wear the sacred thread. Stanikas are also called shanbogs and Mukhtesars. However, it is clarified Mukhtesars of a temple may be Stanikas. Otherwise, there is no additional information about this caste. This sociological information will not be of much assistance to the Selection Committee. What is important is Stanika caste is included in the list of backward castes prepared and published by the Government, as already noticed for purpose of conferment of benefits under the reservation to be made in furtherance of the mandate of Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution.

8. Reliance placed by the learned Government Pleader on the decision of the Division Bench of this Court in the case of Vidya Rajagopal, 1982 (1) KLJ 1 in my opinion, is not correct. In that case what fell for consideration before the Division Bench was the scope and ambit of power conferred on the Selection Committee by Rule 10(l)(c) of the Karnataka Medical Colleges (Selection for Admission) Rules, 1981, Reversing the view expressed by the learned single Judge of this Court, the Division Bench took the view that it would not be proper to read down the ambit of power conferred on the Selection Committee under the said Rule merely because it cannot be made the sole arbiter of the caste to which the candidate applying for a seat belongs, only on the ground that such conferment of power would be violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The Division Bench took the pragmatic view that somebody had to decide the caste of a candidate on the material available and therefore it could as well be the Selection Committee as anybody else. If that aspect is lost sight of in the Division Bench ruling, the learned Government Pleader's argument before me in this case will amount to permitting the Selection Committee to delete the caste of stanikas from the Government's list of backward castes. On the material placed before the Selection Committee, on the material gathered by the Selection Committee and confronted to the candidate it may decide whether a candidate belongs to a particular caste or not and if so, whether such candidate will be disentitled to the reservation. That is not what the Selection Committee has done in this case. Their first endorsement implies Stanika is a person associated with the pooja work in a temple. That is not what has been found by sociologists, particulary E. Thurston in his book Castes and Tribes of Southern India which I have already extracted, as attributes of that caste. Nor does the Government Order under which stanika is listed as one belonging to backward caste any particular duty imposed on persons be longing to that caste. In the ancient Varnashrama Dharma system, caste and occupation may go together but it is diluted and degenerated as it exists today. Caste plays no role in determining the occupation. In exercise of the constitutional mandate under the power conferred on it, the State Government alone has the power to determine and identify the backward castes and backward communities. Once they are so identified, all that the members of the caste need prove is the fact that they belong to such a caste. The certificate issued by the Tahsildar as required by the Selection Rules is prima facie, I would even say, conclusive evidence of the caste a candidate belongs to unless the Selection Committee has reasons to come to a contrary conclusion but not merely on the ground that the father is not assisting in offering pooja or that the father practices indigenous medicine. This is where Vidya Rajagopal's case, 1982 (1) KLJ 1 will not be of any assistance. Power to determine the eligibility to the right of reservation is given but not on capricious grounds, nor is that power conceded by the executive order. If it be so read or so enlarged it would include the right to add or delete to the list prepared by the Government in furthering the object underlying Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution If it is so read the very purpose of reservation will be left in the hands of members of the Committee eminent as they are in their profession but who appear to be ignorant of the sociological conditions obtaining in our Country. Nor is it correct to accept, professional doctors, despite their vast experience and learning as experts in the field of such castes and tribes in this Country. The very purpose of requiring a certificate to be issued by Tahsildar is that Tahsildar is more proximate to the residence of the parents to make the necessary enquiry and certify as to the identity of the candidate in relation to the caste the candidate belongs.

9. As earlier observed by me, unless there is evidence that such a certificate is false, the Selection Committee cannot on its own reasoning set at naught the certificate issued by the Tahsildar. For this reason there is a clear arbitrariness in the endorsement issued at Annexure-E which violates the right conferred on the petitioner by the Government Order determining stanika as backward caste but also the Constitutional rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 15 of Constitution. The endorsement is liable to be quashed and it is so quashed.

10. She shall be given a seat in the quota reserved for backward castes for the academic year 1985-86 notwithstanding any impediment that may be in their way. In any event, whatever the reasons 1 have given for striking down the endorsement at Annexure-E, it should not be understood that I have taken away the power of the Selection Committee to investigate further as to whether really the certificate is genuine and that she really belongs to stanika caste. Rule will accordingly issue and be made absolute.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //