Panel: cancel MLA Sadique's SC certificate
Casting a cloud over noted Punjabi singer Mohammed Sadique's election as MLA, the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes (SC) has directed the Ludhiana deputy commissioner to cancel the certificate which mentions that he belongs to the SC community.punjab Updated: Apr 24, 2012 13:29 IST
Casting a cloud over noted Punjabi singer Mohammed Sadique's election as MLA, the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes (SC) has directed the Ludhiana deputy commissioner to cancel the certificate which mentions that he belongs to the SC community.
Congress nominee Sadique had defeated bureaucrat-turned-Akali candidate Darbara Singh Guru from Bhadaur (reserved) constituency in the January 30 Punjab assembly elections.
The commission, in a letter to deputy commissioner Rahul Tiwari, stated that as per the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (amendment Act), 1956, only followers of Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist religions can qualify as members of the SC community, while followers of other religions cannot avail of the benefits provided to the SC community.
According to the commission, the SC certificate cannot be issued to Sadique as he is a Muslim. The commission asked the DC to initiate the process to cancel the certificate.
The commission has also told the DC to take action in other such cases in which SC certificates have been issued to ineligible persons and submit a monthly report about the action taken in this regard with the panel.
Commission chairman Rajesh Bagha said the decision in this regard was taken at a full commission meeting on April 10. Besides the chairman, the meeting was attended by commission members Dilip Singh Pandi, Prakash Singh Gardhiwala, Bharati Canady and member secretary Prithavi Chand.
The commission, at its meeting on March 26, had asked the Ludhiana DC to submit a copy of the file pertaining to the issuance of an SC certificate to Sadique by Ludhiana (west) tehsildar on May 25, 2006.
Bagha said a committee was being constituted by the commission to enquire into all such cases across the state.
Badal Singh, a resident of Pakhon Kalan village in Barnala district, had moved the commission against the MLA, alleging that Sadique had obtained the SC certificate despite being a Muslim.
When contacted, Sadique said the certificate had been issued by the government agencies concerned after following the procedure laid down.
"The procedure for getting the SC certificate starts at the nambardar's level and goes up to the tehsildar's level," he said.
Terming the commission's decision 'biased', Sadique said he would move court to get justice. "I will fight this injustice in the court," he said.
Meanwhile, when contacted over the issue, Ludhiana DC Rahul Tiwari said he had not yet received the commission's letter.
"The state government, in a letter to all deputy commissioners, stated that any decision regarding cancellation of the SC certificate of any person across the state would be taken by a state-level board constituted for the purpose," he said.
"As soon I receive the letter, I will apprise the commission of the government orders in this regard and request that the matter be sent to the board," he added.