FORMER CHIEF Minister Ajit Jogi had reason to cheer on Friday as the Chhattisgarh High Court quashed the recommendation of National Commission for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe on his caste credentials.
In its verdict the double bench comprising Chief Justice S R Nayak and Justice V K Shrivastava said the National Commission for SC-ST had no right to pass an order on the caste credentials of an individual.
The Commission had recommended to the High Court to cancel the caste certificate of Ajit Jogi. Besides rejecting the recommendation, the HC also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each on petitioner Sant Kumar Netam and the Commission.
It may be recalled that Jogi’s caste credentials have been under a cloud for quite some time. After Jogi won the Assembly by-elections from Marwahi about five years ago, Netam lodged a complaint with the Commission on this issue.
Netam said Jogi had claimed to be the member of a Scheduled Tribe in his nomination papers despite the fact that his caste credentials had not been decided by then. Jogi also availed of all the benefits given to STs on basis of the documents attained fraudulently, Netam alleged.
On the basis of the documents submitted by Netam the Commission had formed a high-power committee, which subsequently recommended to the High Court to cancel Jogi’s caste certificate.