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Degree awarded can be cancelled if it was through a fraudulently obtained admission by submitting a fake certificate : Bombay High Court

Fraudulent representation of one’s identity especially one relating a person’s caste is a serious crime because it robs another person of their opportunity and life. This was held in the judgment passed by a two bench judge comprising HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE R. D. DHANUKA AND JUSTICE R.I.CHAGLA, in the matter of Dr. Raj Mohammed Ali Merchant V.  The State of Maharashtra, Krishna Institute of Medical Scientist Deemed to be University, Government Dental College and Hospital, dealt with an issue where the petitioner filed for quashing and setting aside of the order passed by  the Respondent cancelling the Bachelor of Dental Surgery Degree awarded to the Petitioner and to direct Respondent to restore the B.D.S. degree.

The Petitioner was granted admission by Respondent No.2 in the said BDS course in the year 2008. It is the case of the Petitioner that the Petitioner was granted admission in the said course under NRI quota and was charged fee of Rs.2,41,000/- for granting such admission under the management seat. It appears that the Petitioner thereafter applied for a job in a Government Dental College and Hospital. The Petitioner was appointed as intern in J.J. Hospital on temporary basis. He worked in the said hospital till the end of March 2015. The Chairman/ Additional Commissioner, Caste Scrutiny Committee, informed the Dean of the Government Dental College and Hospital that the Petitioner has submitted false caste certificate of Scheduled Tribe for the post of clinical assistance at the Government Dental college. The said caste certificate relied upon by the Petitioner was not even signed by the Scrutiny Committee. Based on the said letter, the complaint has been filed against the Petitioner.

The counsel for petitioner submits that the Petitioner was granted admission under NRI quota and management seat by the Respondent No.2 by exercising its discretion conferred upon the Respondent No.2 under the Dental Counsel of India notification and more particularly clause 9(b). The counsel for respondent submits that it is not in dispute that the Government Dental College had granted temporary admission to the Petitioner on the basis of such caste validity certificate. The Caste Scrutiny Committee upon the query raised by the Government Dental College as to whether the certificate was a false certificate clarified that no such certificate was issued by the Caste Scrutiny Committee. The signatures on the caste certificate produced by the Petitioner were also fake.

After hearing both the parties The hon’ble Bombay High court dismissed the petition as the court believed that even if the Petitioner had been granted admission in NRI quota, the Petitioner would not have submitted any caste certificate to get an admission in the said BDS course under NRI or management quota. It is thus clear that the caste certificate submitted by the Petitioner was submitted to avail of the relaxation of 10% available to a reserved category candidate for getting admission to such BDS course. It also held that the Petitioner had fraudulently obtained admission by submitting a fake certificate and that the Respondent is thus justified in cancelling the B.D.S. Degree certificate obtained by the Petitioner under Section 10 of Caste Certificate Act, 2000.

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