Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s niece, who is the sub-divisional magistrate of Hoshangabad, could face a criminal case for allegedly issuing a caste certificate to a woman who had falsified her status, sources said on Friday.
They said a high-powered scrutiny committee of the backward class and minority welfare department recommended a criminal case against Ritu Chouhan after taking up six other similar complaints from across the state at a meeting in October.
The Hoshangabad SDM has been accused of issuing a certificate to Meena Yadav of Bhopal on December 12, 2014, which states that she belongs to the other backward class (OBC). In reality, she is not an OBC.
The fraud came to light when Yadav filed nomination papers for a local civic election, attaching the caste certificate. Poll opponents accused Yadav of falsifying her caste and an inquiry was conducted following their complaint.
Later, backward class and minority welfare commissioner Urmila Mishra asked the Hoshangabad collector on November 14 this year to file a criminal case against Yadav.
When the matter came to the scrutiny committee, it sought similar action against the issuing authority — that is, the chief minister’s niece.
For the other six cases, it recommended cancellation of the caste certificates, the sources said.
It was not immediately known why Chouhan issued the certificate without verifying the woman’s antecedents.
Documents accessed by Hindustan Times reveal her signature and stamp on files pertaining to the Yadav case.
A senior official in the state secretariat, who didn’t wish to be named, suspected that Chouhan was framed by some “disgruntled official who had failed to get a posting of his or her choice”.