The Supreme Court today pronounced its Judgment upholding the validity of the caste certificate of Amravati MP Navneet Kaur Rana and set aside the impugned judgment passed by the Bombay High Court. The MP was elected as an independent candidate and had recently joined the BJP.

The Bench of Justice J.K. Maheshwari and Justice Sanjay Karol observed, In the instant case, the scrutiny committee duly considered the document placed before it and after due application of mind, on being satisfied, recorded reasons for accepting and validating the caste of the Appellant herein. While accepting other certain documents the scrutiny committee heard all the parties in detail, compliant to the principle of natural justice. Hence, in our considered opinion, the order of the scrutiny committee did not merit any interference by the High Court in the writ of certiorari under Article 226 of the Constitution of India…Thereafter, accordingly, in the light of discussion hereinabove and considering….instant appeals stand allowed and the impugned judgment passed by the High Court is set aside. The validation order… passed by the scrutiny committee is restored. Pending applications, if any, shall stand disposed of.”

The Supreme Court at length had heard the issue of cancellation of the caste certificate of Amravati MP Navneet Kaur Rana and discussed the purpose and scope of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950.

The Supreme Court on June 22, 2021, stayed the operation of the impugned judgment.

In 2021, the Bombay High Court set aside the caste certificate of Rana based on obtaining the caste certificate fraudulently and getting the said caste certificate validated fraudulently from the Caste Scrutiny Committee by producing fabricated and fraudulent documents, and held, “We would also like to remind the Caste Scrutiny Committee that since it is endowed with the power of validating or otherwise of the Caste Certificate, a solemn duty is cast on it to be more cautions and careful and must considerate all attending circumstances so as to enable it to validate or otherwise the Caste Certificate by all judicial means…219. In the present case we do not find any such judicious approach on its part to say the least and rather seems to be swayed away by extenuating circumstances, keeping aside the application of judicious mind. We in all seriousness, hope that hereinafter, the Scrutiny Committee shall take all caution and guarded approach before validating the Caste Certificate.”

The Petitions at Bombay High Court were filed by Adsul and a social activist from Amravati, Raju Mankar, contesting the decision of the Caste Scrutiny Committee (CSC) to uphold Rana's caste certificate. They also requested the annulment of Rana's original caste certificate issued by the Deputy Collector on August 30, 2013.

Cause Title: Navneet Kaur Harbhajansing Kundles @ Navneet Kaur Ravi Rana vs. The State Of Maharashtra (SLP(C) No. 7776-7778/2021)