Monday, August 8, 2011

[ZESTCaste] SC, ST, OBC caste certificate Bill gets GOM's nod

SC, ST, OBC caste certificate Bill gets GOM's nod
Last Updated: Saturday, August 06, 2011, 19:54

Bhubaneswar: The Orissa SC, ST & OBC (Regulation of Issuance and
Verification) of Caste Certificates Bill-2011, on Saturday got nod of
the Group of Ministers in Orissa.

"There was unanimity at the GOM meeting. The Bill will be placed
before the Cabinet soon before being introduced in the assembly,"
Finance minister Prafulla Ghadai told reporters.

The Bill, placed before the Cabinet last week, however, was deferred
as most of the ministers opposed to the provision of punishment in the

According to the Bill, the authority whoever (including MLAs) was
found issuing fake certificate will be liable to rigorous imprisonment
for a term of six months, which may extend up to two years or fine of
Rs 2,000 which may go upto Rs 20,000 or with the both.

The ministers strongly opposed to the punishment for issuance of fake
certificate. Besides Revenue department officials in the rank of
tehsildar, MLAs also issue caste certificates to the people at the
time of their need.

As the MLAs have no mechanism for verification of caste of a person,
they should be spared from punishment, many ministers had argued.

However, the GOM reached at a conclusion that there could not be
separate punishment for similar offence. If the officials were being
held liable for the offence of issuing fake certificates as per
provision of the Bill, the same should be applied to MLAs also, the
GOM observed.

The state government mooted the Bill in the wake of the rising
resentment among tribal population who alleged that people belonging
to other castes take benefits meant for them by producing fake caste

Fake caste certificate was one of the factors that flared up the
ethno-communal violence in Kandhamal in 2008, the officials at the
SC-ST, OBC and Minorities development department said.


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