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Y. Mohan Rao Vs. the Principal, Guntur Medical College and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petition No. 3035 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1975AP82
ActsConstitution of India - Article 341; Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 - Rule 2(C)
AppellantY. Mohan Rao
RespondentThe Principal, Guntur Medical College and ors.
Appellant AdvocateG. Vedanta Rao, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateGovernment Pleader for Revenue
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
.....clause 3 of the constitution (scheduled castes) order, 1950. if so, it follows that the impugned order cancelling the selection of the petitioner based on the said note (b) is clearly illegal and is liable to be shuck down. course for the year 1973-74 the petitioner was professing hindu religion and belongs to the madiga caste and he is a member of a' scheduled caste within the meaning of the constitution (scheduled castes) order, 1950. the cancellation of the selection on the ground that he was not a hindu by birth, is clearly wrong and illegal......under the aforesaid order it is enough if the person belonging to a scheduled caste professes the hindu religion and that he need not be a hindu by birth as required by the note to the appendix iv of the g. o. rt. no. 1315 dated 4-12-1973 that the petitioner was born a madiga to christian parents, that throughout he was treated as belonging to madiga caste, that subsequently when he had grown up, he approached andhra shuddi sangham, guntur and was converted to hinduism by renouncing the christian religion and that his name was also changed from johnson rao to mohan rao, that he was thereafter received into the hindu fold and living as a hindu, and the tahsildar, issued a certificate to that effect, and that the impugned order cancelling the admission on the ground that he is not a hindu.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Ramachandra Rao, J.

1. This is a petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issue of a writ of certiorari calling for the records relating to Re. No. 8593/S1/73 dated 2-5-1974 of the Principal Guntur Medical College, Guntur, and to quash the same.

2. By the impugned order, the petitioner's provisional selection to the 1st year Integrated M. B. B. S. Course of 1073-74 was cancelled by the Selection Committee 'as he is not a Hindu by birth as required in G.O. Rt. No. 1315 Health dated 4-12-1978.'

3. In the petition it is stated that the State of Andhra Pradesh in G. O. Rt. No. 1315 dated 4-12-1973, laid down the rules as to admission to 1st year Integrated M. B. B. S. Course for the year 1973-74 and invited applications and the selection was to be made on the basis of merit in the entrance test subject to certain reservations. The petitioner states that he passed the Intermediate examination and possesses the required qualifications, that he belongs to the Madiga caste which is one of the Scheduled castes, that he submitted the caste certificate in the prescribed form from the Tahsildar, Narasaraopet, Guntur District, that his application was accepted and he was admitted to the entrance test with Roll No. 3990 and that he was informed that he was selected and called upon to remit various fees prescribed and also to appear before the principal on 20-3-1974. Subsequently he was informed by the impugned order that his selection was cancelled as he is not a Hindu by birth as required by G. O. Rt. No. 1315 Health dated 4-12-1973. The petitioner contends that he is a Madiga by caste, that the Madiga caste is one of the castes enumerated in the Scheduled Castes and which is declared to be a Scheduled Caste by the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 issued by the President of India, in exercise of the powers under Article 341 of the Constitution, that under the aforesaid order it is enough if the person belonging to a Scheduled Caste professes the Hindu religion and that he need not be a Hindu by birth as required by the Note to the Appendix IV of the G. O. Rt. No. 1315 dated 4-12-1973 that the petitioner was born a Madiga to Christian parents, that throughout he was treated as belonging to Madiga caste, that subsequently when he had grown up, he approached Andhra Shuddi Sangham, Guntur and was converted to Hinduism by renouncing the Christian religion and that his name was also changed from Johnson Rao to Mohan Rao, that he was thereafter received into the Hindu fold and living as a Hindu, and the Tahsildar, issued a certificate to that effect, and that the impugned order cancelling the admission on the ground that he is not a Hindu by birth, is therefore illegal and void.

4. A counter has been filed by the Additional Director of Medical Services (Professional Education) stating that the petitioner who is by birth a Christian cannot be said to be a Madiga even after his reconversion, that it is not clear whether the petitioner was a Madiga before he became a Christian that his parents became Christians long before he was born and therefore he is not a Madiga by birth, that when a Hindu Madiga became a Christian, hs ceased to be a Madiga as he had to show that on reconversion he became a member of the Madiga caste, and that the certificates issued by the University and Suddhi Sangham do not show that the petitioner became a member of Madiga Community after conversions.

5. It is also contended that the Note (b) under Rule 2 (c) of G. O, Rt. No. 1315 dated 4-12-1973 does not violate the Scheduled Castes Order 1950. It is stated that the petitioner was born to Christian parents and was treated as a Christian, that it is not known when he practised Hinduism and the fact that he obtained certificate from the University in December, 1973 showed that he obtained the certificate with a view to get a Seat in the M. B. B. S. Course as a Scheduled Caste candidate, that it was not sufficient to show that he started professing Hinduism as laid down in the Scheduled Castes Order, 1950 and that it was not necessary to give any notice to the petitioner as the order of cancellation of admission was an administrative order.

6. In G. O. Rt No. 1315 Health and Municipal Administration Department dated 4-12-1973 the Government issued Rules for admission to the M. B. B. S. Course in the Government Medical Colleges in the Andhra University area for 1973-74. Under Rule 2 (c) of the Order, 14% of the available seats are reserved for the scheduled castes and 4% for Scheduled Tribes. The list of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was appended to the rules as Appendix II. Madiga Caste is enumerated as a Scheduled Caste in Item 3. However Note (b) to Rule 2 (c) reads as follows: 'No candidate other than Hindu including a Sikh can claim to belong to a Scheduled Caste except by birth.'

7. Sri G. Vendantarao the Jeamed counsel for the petitioner contends that the second clause of this Note (b) which states, 'that no candidate can claim to belong to the Scheduled Caste except by birth.' is ultra vires the powers of the Government as it contravenes the provisions of the Scheduled Castes Order issued by the President of India in exercise of the powers under Article 341 of the Constitution. Clauses 2 and 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 read as follows:--

'2. Subject to the provisions of this order, the castes, races or tribes or parts of or groups within, castes or tribes, specified in (Parts I to XIII) of the schedule to this order shall, in relation to the states to which those parts respectively relate, be deemed to be Scheduled Castes, so far as regards members thereof residing in the localities specified in relation to them in these parts of that schedule.

3. Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph 2, no person who professes a religion different from the Hindu or the Sikh religion shall be deemed to be a member of a scheduled caste.'

8. In the Schedule appended to this order, the Madiga caste in Andhra Pradesh is enumerated as a Scheduled Caste. Under Clause 3 of this order, 'no person who professes a religion different from the Hindu or the Sikh religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste.' Therefore it is not necessary that a person belonging to the castes mentioned in the Schedule, should be a Hindu by birth. In other words, it is not necessary that he should profess the Hindu religion by birth. It is enough if he professes the Hindu religion. The second condition of Note (b) of Rule 2 (C) of G. O. Rt 1315 that 'no candidate) can claim to belong to the Scheduled Caste except by birth' travels beyond the scope of Clause 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950. Therefore to that extent, the said condition is ultra vires the powers of the State Government. Under Article 341 of the Constitution of India, the President of India is conferred the power to specify the castes, races or tribes or parts or groups within castes, races, or tribes, which shall for the purposes of the Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Castes in relation to a particular State. The President of India in exercise of the said power specified the Madiga Caste in the State of Andhra Pradesh as a Scheduled Caste, and Clause 3 of the said order merely requires that a person belongs to the said caste, should not profess a religion different from the Hindu or the Sikh religion but it does not require that he should also be a Hindu by birth. The second part of the rule which requires that he should be a member of a Scheduled Caste by birth, is therefore clearly ultra vires the powers of the State Government. The impugned order cancelling the provisional selection of the petitioner on the ground that he is not a Hindu by birth which is based on the second part of Note (b) of Rule 2 (C) of the rules in G. O, Rt. No. 1315 dated 4-12-1973, is illegal and without jurisdiction.

9. Sri N. Rajeswararao, the learned Government Pleader fairly conceded that the second part of Note (b) of Rule 2 (C) that 'No person can claim to belong to the Scheduled Caste except by birth,' is repugnant to the provisions of Clause 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950. If so, it follows that the impugned order cancelling the selection of the petitioner based on the said Note (b) is clearly illegal and is liable to be shuck down.

10. Sri N. Rajeswara Rao, sought to contend that the petitioner was not born to a Hindu and he was born to Christian parents and therefore he did not belong to the Madiga caste by birth and he would not be a candidate belonging to a Scheduled Caste.

11. But this is not the ground on which the selection Committee cancelled the selection of the petitioner. It is on the round that he was not a Hindu by birth that his provisional selection was cancelled. Further, along with his application the petitioner filed a certificate in the prescribed form from the Tahsildar, Narasaraopet, Guntur District, that he belongs to the Madiga caste. The personal Assistant to the Collector also sent a report to the principal, Medical College, that the petitioner belongs to the Madiga Caste, and was a Christian by birth, and that during the year 1973 he reconverted himself into Hinduism through Shuddi Sangham, Guntur, on the basis of which, the University authorities changed his name as Mohan Rao, from Johnson Rao, in all the records and issued proceedings. The Selection Committee did not cancel the admission of the petitioner on the ground that he did not belong to Madiga caste but it was rejected only on the ground that he was not a Hindu by birth.

12. Before me, the petitioner produced a certificate of the Anahra Shuddi Sancham, Guntur, issued on 20-9-1973 showing that he was converted to Hinduism and that he had renounced the Christian religion. He also produced the extracts from the School Register of admissions and withdrawals of R. V. S. C. V. S. High School, Chilakaluripet, Guntur, wherein he was shown as belonging to the Madiga caste. The Andhra University in its proceedings issued on 14-12-1973 in No. B VI (13)150/73 recognised the change in the religion of the petitioner from Indian Christian to Hindu. Therefore on the date on which selections were made to the M. B. B. S. course for the year 1973-74 the petitioner was professing Hindu religion and belongs to the Madiga caste and he is a member of a' Scheduled Caste within the meaning of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950. The cancellation of the selection on the ground that he was not a Hindu by birth, is clearly wrong and illegal.

13. Sri Vedantha Rao, relying on several rulings and particularly the decision of Kumarayya, J. (as he then was) in Election Petition No. 10/1967 dated 5-9-1967 and of Basi Reddy J. (as he then was) in Election Petition No. 18/1967 dated 28-9-1987, sought to contend that the petitioner does not cease to belong to the Madiga Caste by mere conversion to Christianity.

14. On the other hand it is contended by the learned Government Pleader, relying on the decision in S. Rajagonal v. C.M. Armugam, : [1969]1SCR254 that by conversion to Christianity, the petitioner ceases to belong to Madiga Caste.

15. I do not think, this question arises here because the Selection Committee did not cancel the selection, on the ground that the petitioner does not belong to Madiga Caste.

16. Another contention urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that he was not given an opportunity of being heard before the selection was cancelled as required by Rule 20 of the rules framed in G. O. Rt. No. 1315 dated 4-12-1973,

17. But it is contended by the learned Government Pleader that Rule 20 is inapplicable to the facts of this case. Clause (A) of Rule 20 which is relevant, reads as follows:--

'A. Notwithstanding anything contained in these rules, the principals of the Medical Colleges in the State may, on their own motion or on the application of any person, and after due and proper enquiry and after giving the person concerned, an opportunity ot being heard, order the withholding of publication of the name of a candidate who has been provisionally selected or cancel the admission of a candidate if already made or debar any candidate from appearing for selection to the M. B. B. S. course permanently or for a specified period if in their opinion such candidate had furnished fraudulent or incorrect particulars in the application form or in the documents attached thereto or in the statements made either before the authority in charge of admissions or the Principals. Against any such order of the Principal, an appeal shall be made to the Director of Medical and Health Services.'

(b) xx xx xx

18. In the instant case, the provisional selection was sought to be cancelled on the ground that the petitioner did not furnish correct particulars in the application form. If so, the rule requires that notice should be given and the petitioner should be given an opportunity of being heard. Admittedly no such notice was given. Therefore the impugned order contravenes Rule 20 and is invalid on this ground also.

19. For all the foregoing reasons, the writ petition is allowed and the impugned order quashed. The petitioner will have his costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100/-.


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