Marriage of a Vaishya with a Jatav.
Appellant was born in “Agarwal” family. She married Dr. Veer Singh, who happens to belong to “Jatav” Community (said to be one of the Scheduled Castes). A caste certificate dated 29.11.1991 was issued by District Magistrate/Collector, Bulandshahar certifying the appellant as of Scheduled Caste (Jatav). Based on the academic qualifications and the caste certificate, she was appointed initially as a Post Graduate Teacher (Hindi) vide letter dated 16.12.1993 at Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1, Pathankot, Punjab. During the course of her service, she completed her M.Ed and served the institution for about 21 years as teacher.
Conclusion of Supreme Court:
There cannot be any dispute that the caste is determined by birth and the caste cannot be changed by marriage with a person of scheduled caste. Undoubtedly, the appellant was born in “Agarwal” family, which falls in general category and not in scheduled caste. Merely because her husband is belonging to a scheduled caste category, the appellant should not have been issued with a caste certificate showing her caste as scheduled caste.
However, having regard to the fact that the appellant has already served as a Teacher and Vice-Principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya without any black spot in her service career for about 21 years, and that she is going to retire shortly, we take lenient view by exercising jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India and order to convert the order of termination to an order of compulsory retirement. While exercising leniency, we have also kept in mind that the appellant has neither played fraud nor misrepresented before any of the authorities for getting the caste certificate and while continuing in service based on the caste certificate. No questions were raised against her till the complaint in question came to be lodged, even when the authorities had seen the High School Certificate, Marks Sheet etc. showing her caste as Agarwal at the initial stage. Having regard to the totality of the facts of the case, the impugned judgment of the High Court is modified. “The order of termination from service” passed against the appellant shall be treated as “the order of compulsory retirement”. However, we make it clear that this shall not be treated as a precedent in future.