Election in Scheduled Castes reserved Constituency: Though born Muslim, candidate’s being ‘Doom’ comes under Scheduled Castes
Civil Appeal No. 4870 of 2015
Bench: Justice Ranjan Gogoi; Justice Prafulla C. Pant
Case Brief: The present appeal is brought before this bench to challenge the judgement and order of the High court of Punjab and Haryana, in the Election Petition of 2012 in which the petition filed by respondent here was allowed and election of appellant has been set aside. The High Court in its decision found observing that the present appellant was a Muslim, and as such not a member of Scheduled Casts, hence not qualified to contest election from 102- Bhadaur (Scheduled Casts) Assembly Constituency. The present appeal is under section 116A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The bench here, after analysing the various judgments of the apex court, on the definitions of the term ‘Scheduled caste’, and other expressions, observed that here in this case, the appellant was born to Muslim Parents, and he also sufficiently proved that his family members though followed Islam, belonging to ‘Doom’ community, which is as per Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 is a Scheduled Caste in Punjab. Also, the bench observed that though a person can change his religion and faith, but his caste remained unchanged as it is having linkage to birth.
Moreover, here a caste certificate is observed to have been issued to the Appellant where he is shown as member of ‘Doom’ community. Appellant notably, converted to Sikhism. Moreover, the Respondent sought to rely upon the Communication which was issued by State Authorities informing Deputy Commissioner that members following Islam are not entitled to the certificate of Scheduled Castes, and if earlier issued, such certificates to be cancelled. After five years of accepting Sikhism appellant filed nomination for election in question. And that time the Appellant was having Certificate of Caste, which was issued after his conversion to Sikhism. Moreover, the bench here re- appreciated the evidences on record and found that the statement of the Appellant RW- 5 regarding conversion to Sikhism is fully corroborated by RW- 11- Ex- Sarpanch of Village, RW- 6- Secretary of Gurudwara Sahib, RW- 9- Co- Singer in Gurudwara and RW- 14. Thus, the bench found not merit to upheld the judgement of the High Court, as such the bench allowed the appeal and dismissed the earlier election petition filed by Respondent.
Read the Judgement: Mohammad Sadique Vs. Darbara Singh Guru