Himachal Pradesh High Court Passes Order To File Affidavit Against Wrongful Grant of Low-Income Certificate

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A petition was filed before the Court accusing the Petitioner and the concerned authority of wrongfully procuring a low-income certificate. It was alleged that the certificate was procured to get a job in an Anganwari centre reserved for economically weaker women. The Court’s decision as to whether the authority wrongfully provided the certificate or the Petitioner forged information to get it, is yet to be determined. Further, the Court refrained from making any observation on the alleged provision of false information by the Petitioner. 

Brief Facts of the Case

The Petitioner had been accused of getting a low-income certificate by providing false information about her family income to gain appointment as an Anganwari Worker. Jobs at the Anganwari Centre are reserved for ladies with lower financial backgrounds to support them reach financial independence. 

As per the report, the concerned authorities issued an income certificate to the Petitioner based on the information provided by her. In the requisite forms, the Petitioner claimed that her annual family income is Rs. 7200.

The allegations against the Petitioner state that she is actually from a well to do family with the members owning land and other immovable and moveable property. 

The issues involved were whether the information provided to the concerned authorities was genuine, and whether the certificate obtained from the authorities can thus be relied on, with regard to the Petitioner’s appointment.

Arguments Before the Court

The Respondent-State argued that the State government has set rules for the employment of women at Anganwari centres. According to these rules, job posts at these centres are reserved for women whose family income is less than a certain amount per annum. These criteria for employment is set to assist those female aspirants, who belong to the economically weaker section of the society. The Respondents claimed that the petitioner is not eligible as she acquired an income certificate by giving wrong information about her family income. 

Further, it has been submitted that the Petitioner’s husband was originally employed in the Indian Army for eight years, and she belongs to a well-to-do family, who own land, and tractors in their name. 

Observations Made by the Court

The Coram observed that an order was passed previously, by this Court in this case in the year 2019. This Order stated that the Court found that it was apparent that the Petitioner is indeed from a well to do family. Her husband formerly worked in the army and is now a contractor, holding property of his own. Further, the Court noted that there are other family members of the petitioner, one of them is a policeman. Other than that, the family has ownership of land as well.

The Court directed several questions regarding the annual income of the Petitioner. In furtherance of the same, the Court ordered the Petitioner to file written affidavits answering the same. 

The Court also directed the authorities who granted the certificate to put their case forward concerning the genuineness of the certificate issued in favour of the Petitioner. If the authorities fail to present proper evidence and a well-reasoned report, then appropriate actions will be ordered against them.

Judgment

The Court held that it would refrain from making a final determination regarding the issues, until the filing of the affidavit and report. The final decision relating to the Petitioner’s employment will be passed after ascertaining the genuineness of her annual family income. 


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