The Division Bench of Bombay High Court consisting of Justice S.S. Shinde and Madhav Jayajirao Jamdar passed an order on 17th November 2020 in the case of Kum. Vaidehee Prakash Arekar vs State of Maharashtra and Ors., in which the petition was filed to pray that the tribe claim was to be decided within a stipulated time. The Court directed the Respondent to decide tribe claim, on its own merits within two weeks.
The Petitioner desired to seek admission to the Health Degree Course. He had appeared for MHT-CET-2020 Examination dated 13th October 2020 in Health Degree Course. It was asserted that the Petitioner belonged to Koli Malhar Tribe, which has been recognized as a Scheduled Tribe under Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950. However, his tribe claim had yet not been decided, hence the present petition was filed.
At the outset, the learned counsel appearing for the Petitioner had also sought leave to amend the Petition to correct the date of examination of Health Degree Course. Leave had been granted and amendment had to be carried out forthwith.
It was submitted by the Learned Counsel of the Petitioner, that there was an innocuous prayer in the petition as much as the direction to be sought to the Respondent/ State to decide the tribe claim of the petitioner within a stipulated period.
Further, in reply to the submissions of the learned Additional Government Pleader that the tribe claim of the Petitioner could not be decided expeditiously, the Counsel also submitted that the vigilance inquiry had been completed already, but the copies of the said report were not received by the Petitioner until then.
On instructions by the Court, the Additional Government Pleader had submitted that there were more than 1500 pending claims of different persons with the second Respondent- Committee. Due to this reason, it was hence asserted that it may not be possible for the Respondent No.2 – Committee to decide the tribe claim of the Petitioner expeditiously.
Consideration by Court
The Court heard the submissions made by the learned Counsel for the Petitioner and the learned Additional Government Pleader for the Respondent/State. Hence, the Court was of the view that considering the peculiar facts of the present case, and keeping in consideration the fact that the Petitioner was desirous to seek admission to the said medical course only, the directions should be given to the Respondent No.2 to decide the tribe claim of the petitioner within the coming two weeks.
The Court further stated that the said tribe claim of the Petitioner shall be decided only by the law and also keeping in consideration, the documents on record as well as the vigilance cell report and other relevant material on record.
Hence, with the above observations, the present Writ Petition was disposed of. The Court had directed Respondent No.-2 that the tribe claim of the Petitioner shall be decided within the next two weeks.
The Petitioner was also directed to appear before the 2nd respondent – Committee on 24th November 2020 and the soft copy of the vigilance cell report was to be served upon the Petitioner through advocate on e-mail.
The Court had further made it clear that it had not expressed any opinion on the merits of the tribe claim of the Petitioner and this matter shall be for the 2nd Respondent- Committee to decide on its own merits.
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