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Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of S. Sujatha and Sachin Shankar Magadam JJ., disposed off the petition due to the limitation of its scope regarding the production of the individual only before the Court.

The instant writ petition in the nature of habeas corpus was filed by the petitioner seeking direction to respondents to produce Kum. Ramya G. before Court and set her at liberty.

The daughter of the petitioner Kum Ramya G was presented before the Court by the jurisdictional police and submitted that she is staying at Mahila Sakshatha Samithi, Vidyaranyapura and pursuant to the complaint lodged by her alleging infringement of her right to liberty caused by her parents relating to her marriage with the petitioner. She further submitted that she is in love with one of her colleague working at IQVIA as a software engineer but her parents are not giving permission.

The Court thus observed that a right of any major individual to marry the person of his/her choice is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India and the said liberty relating to the personal relationships of two individuals cannot be encroached by anybody irrespective of caste or religion.

In light of the aforesaid observations, Court held that the petition being limited to production of the person before the Court only, no interference to be made in other reliefs.

In view of the above, petition was disposed off.[Wajeed Khan v. Commr. of Police, W.P.H.C No. 92 of 2020, decided on 21-11-2020]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Hot Off The PressNews

London: “Caste in Great Britain and Equality Law- A Public Consultation” was introduced in the month of March 2017 in order to gather the general public’s views on how best to ensure that there is “appropriate legal protection” against caste discrimination in Britain.

The UK government in a statement released that caste discrimination among the Indian community does not require separate legislation and said it can be covered as part of emerging case laws in the country.

[Source: NDTV]

Supreme Court

Supreme Court: While discussing the present case related to re-conversion the bench of V.G. Gowda and Dipak Misra, JJ., observed that the case raises certain important questions, namely that, whether after re-conversion to Hindu religion, can one claim the benefit of his/her original caste; whether such eligibility is acceptable to the members of the original caste and who should be the deciding authority to affirm that whether the specific traditions of the original caste has been followed or not. The Court, on close observation of the facts and leading case laws, laid down that benefit of the original caste can be claimed after re-conversion only if there is a clear proof showing that the individual belongs to the caste recognized under the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950; there has been re-conversion to the original religion to which the parents and ancestors belonged to; and sufficient evidence exists to the acceptance by the community.

In the present case, the caste certificate granted to the appellant under the Kerala (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Regulation of Issue of Community Certificates Act, 1996, was cancelled by the Scrutiny Committee on the grounds that he was not of a Hindu origin (the appellant’s great- grandfather belonged to Hindu Pulaya community but his grandfather had converted to Christianity) and that there is no evidence suggesting that post re-conversion the appellant has been performing the traditions of the caste. The appellant had re-converted to Hinduism and obtained a certificate from the Akhila Bharata Ayyappa Seva Sangham. Arguing for the appellant Mr. Naphade put forth that Kerala High Court wrongly interpreted Constitution Bench decision in The Principal, Guntur Medical College v. Y. Mohan Rao (1976) 3 SCC 411 while upholding the cancellation of the certificate by the scrutiny committee. The respondent counsel Liz Mathew vehemently refuted the contentions of the appellant.

In the present case, the Court preferred to refer relevant case laws and literature and further relying on Kailash Sonkar v. Maya Devi (1984) 2 SCC 91, which stated that in case of a conversion, the original caste simply gets eclipsed, which resurfaces when a person re-converts to the original religion. It was thus observed that in case of any false claims seeking benefit after re-conversion, the principle of “definitive traceability” should be applied wherein the onus shall lie on the individual claiming the benefit. It should also be proved beyond doubt that his ancestors belonged to the caste listed under the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and he has been amicably accepted by the community. The Court thus held that the appellant post his re-conversion had been accepted completely, therefore the findings of the Scrutiny Committee are unsustainable. K.P. Manu v. Chairman, Scrutiny Committee, 2015 SCC OnLine SC 161, decided on 26.02.2015