DB directs State to frame committee to scrutinize ST certificates

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 3: In a significant judgment, Division Bench of State High Court comprising Justice Virender Singh and Justice Hasnain Massodi has directed the State to set-up Scrutiny Committee at Division/District Level to scrutinize the social status certificate (Reserved Category Certificates).
These directions were passed in a PIL filed by Anwar Choudhary, a Gujjar leader and practicing lawyer, seeking directions to the State to constitute committee to scrutinize social status certificates particularly Scheduled Tribe Certificates issued from 1991 onwards and to constitute a District Level Scrutiny Committee as per the directions of the Supreme Court in case titled Kumari Madhuri Patil and Another Versus Additional Commission Tribal Development and Others.
Advocate Shah Mohd Choudhary appearing for the PIL submitted that in rest of the country the beneficiaries of fraudulent certificates have been detected. On other hand, Senior AAG Gagan Basotra fairly stated that no scrutiny committee has been constituted by the State and if there are complaints regarding the issuance of Social Status Certificates the same are referred to Social Welfare Department for further action. He assured the Court that a Scrutiny Committee will be constituted at the earliest strictly as per the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court.
While expressing concern over the prolonged delay in the constitution of scrutiny committee, the Division Bench disposed of the PIL with the directions to the State to bring the mechanism under the Reservation Act and Rules for grant/ issuance of Reserved Category Certificates at par with the directions of the Supreme Court so that all the chances of any mal-practice at the stage of grant/ issuance of certificates are excluded.
The DB also directed the setting-up of Scrutiny Committee at Division/District Level to scrutinize the certificates already issued and fixed six months time to comply with the directions.

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