Madras High Court

Madras High Court: In petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to call for the records relating to the rejection order passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer (‘RDO’) with respect to the petitioner’s applications and quash the same and consequently directing the respondents to issue Kattunayakan Community Certificate to the petitioner’s son and daughter namely, the division bench of T. Raja*, acting CJ. and D .Krishnakumar, J. quashed the rejection order dated 08-11-2022 passed by the RDO with respect to the petitioner’s applications and remitted back the matters to the RDO for passing fresh orders. Further, directed RDO to pay the cost of Rs. 10,000/- to the Legal Aid Service Authority attached to this Bench.

The Court noted that the petitioner belongs to Kattunayakan Community, which is a Schedule Caste (ST) Community, and her husband belongs to Pallar Community, which is a Scheduled Caste (SC) Community.

Further, it referred to two Government Orders, wherein it was declared that the children born of inter-case marriage, that is marriages

  • between a person of a ST and another of a SC or Backward Class or forward Class;

  • between a person of a SC and another of a Backward Class or forward Class; and

  • between a person of a Backward Class and of a forward Class shall be considered to belong to either the community of the father or the community of the mother according to the declaration of the parents regarding the way of life in which the children are brought up and that the declaration in respect of one child will apply to all children.

It also noted that the State Government has also issued an order regarding the same.

The Court said that the RDO has been always dealing with issues like this, he is expected to know the Government Orders issued by the Government in the matter of issuance of Community Certificate. He, having been entrusted with solemn obligation to redress the grievance of the citizens, appears to have neglected the said duty. The RDO could have initiated summary enquiry to ascertain minimum facts whether the petitioner claiming to be a Kattunayakan community is true or not.

The Court opined that the RDO applied his mind, he could have unearthed the truth of the community status of the petitioner effortlessly. RDO should also realise that arbitrary refusal of genuine prayer would result in unnecessary litigation. When the aforementioned two Government Orders are all clearly guiding to ascertain whether the petitioner belongs to Kattunayakan community, the application of the petitioner could have been easily disposed of. Thus, the Court initially imposed the cost of Rs. 50,000/- on the RDO but reduced it to Rs. 10,000/- on request of the Additional Government Pleader.

[S. Nithya v District Collector, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 1676, decided on 02-03-2023]

*Order by: Acting Chief Justice T. Raja.

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioner: Advocate K. Mahendran;

For Respondents: Additional Government Pleader M. Sarangan.

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