NEW DELHI: Cracking down on fake caste certificates, the Supreme Court on Thursday said government jobs or admissions secured under reserved categories using forged certificates cannot be held valid.
While setting aside the Bombay High Court judgment, a bench of chief justice J S Khehar, justice D Y Chandrachud and justice N V Ramana held that public servants, whose caste certificate is found to be fake, cannot be granted protection and allowed to remain in service even if he or she has spent sufficient time in the job. “Even if a person has been in the job for 20 years on the basis of a fake caste (document), he/she will lose the job and also get punished,” the court said.
The apex court said there can be no leniency or consideration of long years of service if anyone has used a fake caste certificate for getting admission or a job. The ruling also states that when a person who does not belong to a caste or tribe or class for whom reservation is meant, seeks to pass off as its member, such a stratagem constitutes a fraud on the Constitution.
The verdict came on a batch of petitions, including one filed by the Maharashtra government against the Bombay HC’s December 2014 judgment that involves persons who sought the benefit of public employment on the basis of a claim of belonging to a beneficiary group which was, upon investigation, found to be invalid.
The apex court, however, said its verdict would not be made applicable with retrospective effect and would be applied now onwards.
The judgment came on a batch of petitions, including one by the Food Corporation of India’s chairman and managing director.