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BJSM oposes move to grant ST tag to Sarania Kacharis

Our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, June 13: Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Mancha (BJSM) strongly raised objection to the recent order of the Assam government from the WPT&BC Ministry, order dated 5/6/2018, allowing to issue ST certificate to Sarania Kachari community as ‘Kachari’ without notification in the Constitutional (Scheduled Tribe) Order, 1950, and rejected its validity as illegal, unconstitutional. The president of the BJSM, Janaklal Basumatary said earlier the All Assam Tribal Sangha (AATS) was allowed to issue ST certificate to Sarania Kachari community as Boro Kachari or Rabha without notification in the constitutional ST order as amended till date by a decision of the All Assam Tribal Sangha taken at a private executive meeting on July 29, 2009. He said the issue of such ST certificate to non-notified communities like Sarania Kachari community was stopped by Gauhati High Court in an interim order of Justice Agarwal in case WP(C) 2580/2014 dt. 28/5/2014, allowing All Assam Tribal Sangha to issue ST certificate to those communities which are notified as ST in the Constitutional (Scheduled Tribe) Order, 1950 as amended till date.

The Assam government endorsed this court’s order and all DCs, SDOs and All Assam Tribal Sangha were instructed to issue ST certificate to notified communities in the constitutional order. They stopped to issue ST certificate to Sarania Kachari people as Boro Kachari or Rabha as there is no notification in the said constitutional (ST) order to this effect. The refusal to issue ST certificate to Sarania Kachari is not because they are using Assamese caste titles as these titles do not identify Boro Kachari or Rabha but identify only Sarania Kachari community and this community is not notified in the said constitutional order, so no ST certificate can be issued to non-notified Sarania Kachari community.

Basumatary said the WPT & BC department of the Government of Assam, in violation of the Gauhati High Court interim order, recently passed an order dated 5/6/2018 allowing DCs and SDOs to issue ST (P) certificates to Sarania Kachari community as sub-caste Kachari without notification in the said constitutional ST order. He said the court’s order was still in force. Thus, if any such certificate is issued to non-notified community like Sarania Kachari, even as sub-caste Kachari without notification in constitutional order, will invite contempt of court against the certificate issuing authority.

The BJSM rejected this impugned order of the State government and asked the department concerned to recall and withdraw the said order with immediate effect in order to safeguard the constitutional rights of duly notified tribals as many genuine ST students will be deprived of the constitutional reservation for them if non-notified general caste community is issued ST certificate and it will be a mockery of law.

BJSM president Janaklal Basumatary said the court could not ascertain Sarania as sub-tribe Kachari or Kachari. The said court order is in any case anfractuous as refusal to issue ST certificate did not lie with writ petition, it lay with the State government’s scrutiny committee in first instance which the petitioner did not follow. Thus, the high court passed an infructuous order in an infructuous writ petition. Thus, if any ST certificate is issued to the petitioners or any other Sarania Kachari community people, it will be infructuous and the certificate issuing authority will face contempt of court , BJSM warned.

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Ankur Kalita