NEW DELHI: In order to grapple with the problem of fake Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificates being presented by people, states and Union Territories (UTs) should make it a punishable offence, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has recommended.
Concerned over a large number of complaints of presentation of fake ST certificates and pendency in disposing of these cases, the NCST took up this issue in a recent commission meeting.
"The commission feels it is important that states and UTs clamp down on the issue of fake ST certificates as it affects the opportunities of the ST communities who genuinely need access to those resources. It puts a strain on the available opportunities reserved for the STs," said a senior NCST official.
"The commission is of the view that there is a need for states to streamline the process for issuing and verifying ST certificates and social status of those applying for it," said the official.
The NCST is of the view that other states and UTs should follow the example of Gujarat which has made the use of fake certificates to take advantage of reservation a punishable offence.
The Gujarat government had recently initiated The Gujarat Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (Regulation of Issuance and Verification of Caste Certificates) Bill, 2018. According to the Bill, people found guilty of producing fake ST certificates for government jobs, or admission to educational institutes would face a jail term of up to three years or not less than six months. Also, people found producing fake certificates for jobs would be dismissed from service.
"The Bill introduced in Gujarat was discussed in detail. The commission feels that other states and UTs can introduce a Bill on the line of the one introduced by the government of Gujarat," said the official.