SC stays Bombay HC order that Cancelled MP Navneet Rana’s Caste Certificate

While granting relief to Congress MP Navneet Kaur Rana, the Apex Court granted relief to Congress MP Navneet Kaur Rana. It stayed the Bombay HC order that had set aside her caste certificate.

As Rana had won from a seat reserved for SC candidates, the High Court order would have affected her election to the Parliament. In the election, she claimed that she belonged to the Mochi caste.

The vacation Bench of Hon’ble Justice Vineet Saran and Hon’ble Justice Dinesh Maheshwari stayed the High Court judgement and issued a notice in Rana’s SLP.

Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Rana and submitted that chamaar and Mochi were synonymous. He further stated that the scrutiny committee decided that Rana’s caste status was based on original documents. Finally, he stated that the presumption that the said documents were 30 years old was correct, but the Hon’ble High Court had reversed the scrutiny committee’s decision in the case.

According to Mr Rohtagi, the High Court had erred, and it reached its conclusion without considering several relevant documents.

On the other hand, Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the State, stated that many documents submitted by Rana were fabricated as per the vigilance committee.

Hon’ble Court asked Mr Sibal to file his counter-affidavit in the matter.

When the Bench was about to pass the stay order, Mr Sibal submitted that the Court could not pass the stay order without hearing him. When the Court asked if the High Court could have passed such an order under Article 226, Mr Sibal stated that the scrutiny committee had just one remedy: to file a writ under Article 226.

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In its order, the Bombay High Court had said that Rana had committed systematic fraud by fabricating documents, and her claim to being from the Mochi community was untrue.

However, the Supreme Court stayed the High Court order and issued a notice in the case.

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