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An engineering student, whose caste validation plea has been pending before the caste scrutiny committee for over six years now, even as he passed his final year computer engineering exam, has got relief from the Bombay high court.
The court has directed the University of Mumbai, which had withheld the student, Amol Narayan Wakkars mark sheets for all the four years of the degree course, to issue the statement of marks and degree certificate to Amol within a week of receiving the courts order.
Amol, who claims to be belonging to the Thakar tribe, which is recognised as scheduled tribe (ST) under the Presidential notification under Article 342 (1) of the Constitution,was granted admission to the computer engineering course against the ST seat at K J Somaiya college in Mumbai in 2004-05. The deputy collector of Sindhudurg had issued a caste certificate to Amol and he had applied for validation of the same before the scrutiny panel in 2002.The panel then rejected his plea as part of a common order on similar other pleas on June 11, 2004.Amol successfully challenged the rejection order in the high court, which remanded the matter to the scrutiny panel. The same has since been pending. The high court division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice R P Sondurbaldota pulled up the concerned caste scrutiny committee for not settling Amols plea for six years. The student who was granted caste certificate by the deputy collector and who had applied for caste validity certificate in 2004, cannot be asked to wait indefinitely, the bench stated in a five page order passed on August 16. On July 5, assistant government pleader (AGP) Niranjan Pandit, appearing for the scrutiny panel,had made a submission that the petitioners application will be decided within one month. The committee has neither decided the petitioners application nor moved this court for extension of the time limit, the bench stated after the AGP submitted, at the hearing on August 16,that the petitioners file is not traceable and some more time will be required to reconstruct the record and decide the plea. In his latest petition, Amol brought to the courts notice that he was facing problems in securing employment. He furnished a copy of letter dated July 4 from a prospective employer asking him to produce original and photocopy of certificate of educational/professional qualifications and other documents. The bench stated, In view of the above facts, we find no other alternative but to direct respondent no 5 (Mumbai varsity) to issue statement of marks and computer engineering degree certificate to the petitioner. The court has, however, clarified that the petitioners caste validation plea will be decided on merits by the scrutiny panel.
Courtesy: Times of India
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