Reconsideration of Appeal For Issuance Of ST Certificate On Basis Of Mother’s Tribe: Orissa High Court

The high court of Orissa passed a judgment on 02 April 2023, and has directed the appellate authority to reevaluate an appeal against the denial of a youngster who was raised by his tribal mother’s tribe certificate. Her non-tribal spouse had abandoned the woman in the case of Jayanti Naik v. State of Odisha & Ors (W.P.(C) No. 37095 of 2022), passed by the single Judge Bench of Justice Arindam Sinha.

Facts of the Case:

The petitioner married someone from the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes despite being a member of a scheduled tribe (SEBC). The spouse left her after that. His mother raised a child out of wedlock among the tribe. The Tahsildar denied the child’s request for a caste certificate, and the Collector in Sambalpur, who heard the appeal, upheld that decision. The mother filed a writ suit with the High Court after becoming resentful of the orders. The petitioner claimed that the appellate authority heard the appeal without giving her or her attorney a chance to be heard, despite the fact that it was noted in the order sheet that he had heard the petitioner’s advocate. It was also argued that the appeal was dismissed on the basis of a letter from the Tahsildar without requesting records from him and without verifying the accuracy of the statement he made. The fact that the Tahsildar obeyed the law and had good reason to deny the application was also noted.

Judgment of the case

The court agreed with the argument that it is important to ascertain whether a child born out of wedlock has been acknowledged by the mother’s community as a member of their tribe and whether he has been raised in that environment and culture before issuing a caste certificate. The court noted that the appellate body afterwards rejected the appellant’s motion, believing that the Tahsildar had correctly followed the norms and regulations. It claimed that while doing so, the petitioner’s claim about raising her son in the tribal community was not even taken into account. As a result, the order was overturned, and the Collector received the appeal again with instructions to quickly evaluate it within six weeks.

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