The government has proposed a new law to prevent people from using fake reserved category certificates to bag government jobs and gain admission in educational institutions. If the move becomes reality, it will clearly define such an act as a criminal offence.
Tribal affairs minister V Kishore Chandra Deo, in a letter to Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar and Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari, stated that a large number of MPs have been demanding strong action from the government on the issue. He told the presiding officers of both Houses that his ministry viewed the use of fake SC/ST certificates “as a serious matter that was depriving deserving candidates belonging to the reserved categories of rightful employment and opportunities for education through fraudulent means”."Members of both Houses of Parliament have, on several occasions in the past, been raising the issue of fake Scheduled Tribe certificates being misused. They have been demanding action from the government," the minister stated in the letter, sent on Friday. "I have given instructions to the officials in the ministry to come forward with a comprehensive legislation to deal with cases of this nature, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s observations in the past."
Deo was referring to a judgment delivered by the Supreme Court in 1995, directing the government to ensure that in cases where a reserved category certificate or social status was found to be false, “the parent/guardian/candidate should be prosecuted for making such a claim”. It had further stated that if any such incident was proved, it should be regarded — and dealt with — as an offence involving moral turpitude.
Those found guilty of making use of such fake certificates should not only be removed from service, “but also disqualified from elective posts or offices under the state or the union or elections to any local body, legislature or Parliament”, the Supreme Court had said.
The ministry also asked the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to give its recommendations on the subject, and inform the government about the kind of action required in such cases.