The invalidation of the caste certificate – on the basis of which Sweta Shivdikar, 26, sought admission into the MBBS course – by the scrutiny committee has cost the girl her right to practise.
Having completed her MBBS and internship by seeking reservation using the certificate, Sweta had filed a petition seeking the release of her degree certificate withheld by Maharashtra University of Health Sciences for want of caste certificate validation with the Bombay High Court. The petition was quashed last week.
While dismissing the petition, the division bench comprising chief justice Mohit Shah and justice SJ Kathawala sent a stern message that no mercy would be shown to students who avail benefits of reservation on the basis of false or bogus caste claims.
The bench referred to an earlier decision in her case, in which another division bench had held that the educational qualification shall stand cancelled on cancellation of the caste certificate on the basis of which admission for such course is taken.
In September 2003, Sweta had secured admission to the MBBS course at St George Hospital claiming that she belonged to Mahadeo Koli, a scheduled caste. Three months after the admission, the caste scrutiny committee declined to validate her caste claim.
She had challenged the committee decision before the high court, which referred the matter back to the scrutiny committee in March 2006. In the meantime, Sweta continued to pursue her medical education on the basis of interim orders of high court.
However, in February 2007, the scrutiny committee again invalidated her caste claim, which was again challenged before high court. In January 2010, high court dismissed her petition, which was subsequently confirmed by the apex court.
Last year, she again moved the high court only for seeking orders to release her degree certificate so that she could practice in medical profession.
The 26-year-old contended that her entire life and career was at stake because of the withholding of her MBBS degree certificate and no useful purpose will be served by annulling her degree. She had further contended that she had put in lot of efforts and money in pursuing the studies and that entire exercise would go waste if her degree was not released.