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Friday, February 20, 2009

Reservation benefits state-specific: HC

A migrant can claim reservation benefits under a particular category only if his caste fell within the reserved category in his home

state as well as in the state to which he migrates, the Madras High Court has ruled.

A division bench comprising justice Elipe Dharma Rao and justice S Tamilvanan, passing orders on a writ petition recently, said that even if the name of the caste was one and the same in both the states, the beneficiary could claim benefits only if the caste was declared as OBC or SC/ST in both the states.

"Even if the nomenclature of the caste is the same in both the states, only if the caste to which the beneficiary belongs to in that particular state is declared as SC/ST and the same is declared as SC/ST in the state to which he migrates also, can a person claim the status of SC/ST in the migrated state," the judges observed.

The petitioner R Venu, opposing denial of ST certificate to his son, contended that the community Ganaka, known as Kani or Kaniyan, is a notified OBC community in Kerala. But Kaniyan community is included in the ST list in Tamil Nadu. Noting that place of birth is immaterial for the purpose of determination of caste, he said the place where the parents of the applicant ordinarily reside' should alone be the criterion.

Rejecting the submission, the judges said Venu, who had migrated from Kerala, should make way for the disadvantaged and disabled communities in Tamil Nadu. Pointing out that the Supreme Court ruling on a similar matter passed on distinguishable set of facts, they said the principle applicable for declaration of SC/ST depends on the nature and extent of disadvantages and social hardships suffered by that group in that state, and not on the ground of having ordinary residence or domicile.

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