At, In the High Court of Bombay at Aurangabad
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.V. GANGAPURWALA & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R.N. LADDHA
For the Petitioners: M.S. Deshmuk h/f. U.B. Gite, Advocates. For the Respondents: R1 & R2, K.N. Lokhande, S.K. Tambe, A.G.Ps.
Oral Judgment: (S.V. Gangapurwala, J.)
1. Rule. Rule made returnable forthwith. With the consent of learned advocates for respective parties, matters are taken up for final hearing.
2. Petitioners in Writ Petition No.8572/2021 are children of the petitioner in Writ Petition No. 8612/2021. Their caste claim belonging to ‘Koli – Mahadev’ Scheduled Tribe is invalidated by the Committee by common judgment dated 28.7.2021. Aggrieved thereby, the present writ petitions.
3. Mr. M.S. Deshmukh, learned advocate for the petitioners submits that entry in the school record of the grandfather of the petitioners namely Irranna Saibu dated 22.7.1950 records caste as ‘Koli Mahadev’. The Khastra Patrak in the name of Saibu records the caste as ‘Koli Mahadev’. Saibu is great grandfather of the petitioner. The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that consistently in the school record of the petitioners, their caste is recorded as ‘Koli Mahadev’. There is only one solitary adverse entry as ‘Koli’ dated 17.8.1965 in the school record of cousin of the petitioner namely Datta Irranna. The same cannot be sufficient to negate the case of the petitioners. The affinity test is the corroborative piece of evidence. The learned counsel relied on the decision of the Apex Court in the case of Anand Vs. Committee for Scrutiny and Verification of Tribe claims, reported in (2012) 1 SCC 113. According to the learned counsel, the Committee nor the vigilance has raised suspicion for the entry of 1950 in the school record of grandfather of the petitioners.
4. The learned A.G.P. submits that there is contra entry in the school record of the uncle of the petitioners namely Datta which records the caste as ‘Koli’. The petitioners have failed in the affinity test. There are other entries recorded in the school record of the relatives of the petitioners. The same is also considered by the Committee. Considering the overall facts i.e. the contra entry in the school record of the cousin of the petitioners of the year 1965 recording caste as ‘Koli’ and the caste recorded in the record of various relatives of the petitioners, so also the petitioners not proving the affinity test, the committee has rightly passed the order.
5. We have considered the submission. We have also gone through the record and the judgment. The petitioners to prove their caste claim have relied on the following documents:-
6. The documents in the name of grandfather of the petitioner Irranna records caste as ‘Koli Mahadev’. The grandfather of the petitioner is admitted in the school on 22.7.1950. The said entry is pre-presidential notification entry. There appears to be one solitary entry recording caste as ‘Koli’ in the school record of Datta dated 17.8.1965, who appears to be son of Irranna. In the school record of Irranna, the caste is recorded as ‘Koli Mahadev.
7. Perusal of the Vigilance report and the judgment, it is clear that the entry of ‘Koli Mahadev’ is recorded in the school record of the grandfather of the petitioner dated 22.7.1950. The same will be having evidentiary value. Old Khastra Patrak of the period prior to 1955 records the caste as ‘Koli Mahadev’ as against the name of the great grandfather of the petitioner Saibu. The said entry is also not disputed by the committee in the judgment.
8. As observed by the Apex Court in the case of Anand (supra), the affinity is the corroborative piece of evidence. The overwhelming facts t
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hat 1950 school record of Irranna, grandfather of the petitioner, records caste as ‘Koli Mahadev’ and no suspicion in respect of this entry being taken by the Vigilance and/or Committee, the impugned judgment is quashed and set aside. The Committee shall issue validity certificates to the petitioners of ‘Koli Mahadev’ Scheduled Tribe. 9. Rule is accordingly made absolute. No costs.