Using fake scheduled caste/scheduled tribe (SC/ST) certificates to get jobs and admission to educational institutions could soon land the guilty behind bars. The offence would trigger a jail term ranging between five and seven years, according to a proposed law.
Tribal affairs and panchayati raj minister V Kishore Chandra Deo has informed law minister Ashwani Kumar about the proposal aimed to “prevent and deter frauds on constitutional schemes” for social justice.
Deo has instructed his ministry officials “to finalise an appropriate draft legislation to deal with cases of fraud SC/ST certificates” in accordance with the Supreme Court judgment on the issue.
“There is a need to give the force of law to the SC guidelines. Apart from registering criminal cases of forgery and cheating against those indulging in such practices, they also need to be booked for atrocities on weaker sections. That’s why a comprehensive law is required,” Deo wrote.
He has also informed the Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha chairman about the proposal on the back of growing demand from MPs cutting across party lines.
The government had informed the Lok Sabha on August 8 that nearly 2,000 appointments in its various departments were secured allegedly “using fake SC/ST certificates, according to a one-time exercise conducted by it in 2010”.