Gauhati HC rejects Kokrajhar MP’s plea challenging cancellation of ST status | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Gauhati HC rejects Kokrajhar MP’s plea challenging cancellation of ST status

Apr 18, 2024 05:28 PM IST

The Gauhati high court said two-time MP Naba Kumar Sarania didn’t produce any evidence to back his claim that he was a member of Bodo/Bodo Kachari community

GUWAHATI: The Gauhati high court on Thursday dismissed a petition by sitting MP Naba Kumar Sarania challenging a January 12 order of the state-level caste scrutiny committee (SLSC) that cancelled the Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificate issued to him in 2011.

Kokrajhar MP Naba Kumar Sarania first contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, years after being issued the ST (Plains) certificate (Facebook/nksarania)
Kokrajhar MP Naba Kumar Sarania first contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, years after being issued the ST (Plains) certificate (Facebook/nksarania)

The high court’s verdict implies that Sarania, a two-term Lok Sabha member, won’t be able to seek re-election from the Kokrajhar seat reserved for ST candidates. Kokrajhar is due to vote on May 7.

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Justice SK Medhi said the court didn’t find any “illegality or impropriety” in the SLSC order that quashed Sarania’s ST (Plains) certificate through a reasoned order.

The high court noted that Naba Sarania, 53, was issued the ST certificate only on October 17, 2011 and contested elections for the first time from the Kokrajhar parliamentary constituency reserved for ST candidates in 2014. He was re-elected in 2019.

“There is not even an iota of evidence or material brought on record by the petitioner at any stage of the proceedings which are prior to the year 2011 pertaining to his claim to belonging to ST(P),” the court observed.

The court also noted that Sarania’s father, who was in government service, also never claimed to be from the Bodo/Bodo Kachari community.

“The materials on record which were considered by the SLSC would show that there was no basis for granting the caste certificate to the petitioner in October 2011 that he belongs to the Boro Kachari community,” the court said.

The SLSC order was followed by another one by Assam’s department of tribal affairs (plains) on January 20 that cancelled the caste certificate issued by the Assam Tribal Sangha, Tamulpur District Unit in October 2011.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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