G.P. Singh, C.J.
1. By this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution the petitioner challenges the order dated 10th March 1981 by which his admission to the Government Mining and Polytechnic, Shahdol, has been cancelled.
2. The petitioner got his admission in the Polytechnic on the basis of a declaration that he belonged to a Scheduled Caste and he procured a certificate from the Naib Tahsil-dar dated 2nd July, 1979 in support of his admission. On complaint it was revealed that the petitioner was Bahna and did not belong to any Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. Tt was for this reason that his admission was cancelled. Notice for admission of this petition was issued to the respondents. Return has been filed. The petition is heard on merits.
3. The first question that arises in this petition is whether the petiljoner is really a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. The community of Bahna to which the petitioner belongs consists of Muslims who carry on the trade of cotton cleaning. By the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Act, 1956, Bhaina has been added as a Scheduled Tribe for Madhya Pradesh. The petitioner claims that he belongs to this tribe. This claim is entirely unfounded. In Mohd. Shamsher v. The Collector, Balaghat, M. P. No. 775 of1979, decided on 16th October, 1980, it has been pointed out by a Division Bench of this Court that Bahnas who are cotton cleaners belong to the same category as Pinjara and Dhunia and are different from the Scheduled Tribe of Bhaina. Reference in this connection was made in th;it case to Russel on Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces (pp. 69 and 225). It is quite clear that the petitioner was by no stretch of imagination a member of a Scheduled Caste, which he claimed for his admission and for which he procured a certificate from a Naib Tahsildar. It is clear from the certificate on the basis of which the petitioner got admission that he practised fraud and fraudulently obtained a certificate on the basis that he was Harijan and got admission in the Polytechnic on that basis.
4. Learned counsel for the petitioner then contends that as the petitioner was allowed to pursue his studies in the first year, his admission cannot be cancelled in the second year on the ground of equitable estoppel. The principle of equitable estoppel can have no application when the party in whose favour it is invoked is found guilty of fraud.
5. The petitioner got admission simply because of fraud and, therefore, there lies no equity in his favour to debar the respondents from cancelling his admission. Learned counsel for the petitioner relies upon the case of Harphool Singh v. State, AIR 1981 Raj 8. In that case also a person got admission by making false declaration and whose admission was later on cancelled. The Rajasthan High Court applied the principle of estoppel. We do not agree with that case. In our opinion, once a finding is reached that the petitioner is guilty of fraud, there can be no equity in his favour for applying the principle of equitable estoppel. Learned counsel also relied upon the case of Inder Purkash v. Dy. Commr., Delhi, AIR 1979 Delhi 87 where also the principle of equitable estoppel was applied. But a reading of that case docs not show that the petitioner in that case was guilty of any fraud. Inder Parkash's case is, therefore, distinguishable on facts.
6. The petition fails and is dismissed, but without any order as to costs.