Caste certificates of 3 corporators withdrawn

GULBARGA: Three newly-elected corporators of Gubarga Mahanagarapalike are running the risk of losing their membership following the withdrawal of ‘false caste certificates’ issued to them by the tahsildar on the eve of the corporation elections held on May 3. ironically, the caste certificates have been withdrawn even before the State could gazette the names of the elected members of the corporation.

The three candidates -- Mangala Waghmare of Janata Dal(United) (ward No 17), Vijayakumar Dwarakanath of the Bharatiya Janata Party (ward No 32) and Sandhya Pandurang of BJP (ward No 55) had obtained backward caste certificates in April for contesting the elections and won. Gulbarga tahsildar and taluka executive magistrate MS Rukmaji Rao, who is in the thick of controversy for recklessly issuing caste certificates without properly verifying the claims, has now withdrawn them following complaints lodged in this regard by the defeated candidates.

However, the withdrawal of caste certificates is unlikely to have any immediate adverse effect on the membership of the three corporators as it will take its own time (perhaps a couple of years) to dispose of election petitions which may be filed in the district court by the defeated candidates.

Moreover, the three corporators have the option of either approaching the appellate authority (in this case deputy commissioner) or the high court for challenging the withdrawal of caste certificates by the tahsildar.

‘‘When there are specific complaints I have to act on them. After a thorough verification it has been found that the three had filed false affidavits on their caste claims. Accordingly, I have cancelled the caste certificates’’ Rukmajai Rao told this paper.

CERTIFICATE FOR A NON-EXISTING CASTE: in a glaring faux pas the tahsildar has issued a ‘Sindhi Bawa’ caste certificate under backward class-A category to Vijayakumar. But no such caste is existing in Karnataka. In the category of BC -A castes only ‘Bawa’ has been mentioned. it is obvious that through certain manipulations the candidate had succeeded in obtaining ‘Sindhi Bawa’ certificate. Verification of school records by the revenue authorities revealed that there was only mention of ‘Sindhi’ and not ‘Sindhi Bawa’ as was claimed by the candidate.

Mangala Waghmare was given ‘Arya’ caste certificate falling under BC-A. however, she actually belongs to ‘Aray Maratha’ which is grouped in BC-B. The school records of Mangala clearly say she is ‘Aray’ and not ‘Arya’.

Sandhya Pandurang is a Brahmin and yet she had availed ‘Vaishnava’ caste certificate which comes under BC–B.

After local inquiry following complaints it was found she is a Brahmin and nowhere ‘Vaishnava’ was found in her school records.

The issuance of ‘false caste certificates’ by the competent authority for contesting elections clearly shows that all is not well with the tahsil system.

‘‘One can get any caste certificate through unscrupulous methods’’ remarked an advocate.

Asked about the casualness in the issue of caste certificates, the tahsildar said: ‘‘The revenue inspectors should undertake spot inspections and go through all the relevant records for verifying the claims. Sometimes the RIs do not do this. Based on their reports the certificates are issued.’’

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: June 8, 2001
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