The Bombay High Court on Tuesday cancelled the caste certificate of Lok Sabha member Navneet Kaur Rana issued to Amravati, saying that it was obtained fraudulently using fabricated documents. The court has also directed her to surrender it within six weeks.
A division bench of justices RD Dhanuka and VG Bisht has also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh, which she needs to pay to the Maharashtra Legal Services Authority within a period of two weeks.
The court noted that her claim of belonging to â€œMochiâ€ caste for obtaining the Scheduled Caste certificate itself was fraudulent. The court also said that it was made with an intention to obtain various benefits available to a candidate from such category, despite knowing she does not belong to that caste.
The court passed its order on a petition filed by social worker Anandrao Adsule, seeking for cancellation of the caste certificate dated 30 August, 2013 issued by Mumbai Deputy Collector, identifying Rana as belonging to the ”Mochi” caste.
Rana was elected from Maharashtra’s Amravati Lok Sabha seat in 2019. She is an Independent MP backed by the NCP.
â€œThe application (for caste certificate) was made intentionally to make a fraudulent claim to enable the respondent no.3 (Rana) to contest the election for the post of Member of Parliament on a seat reserved for a Scheduled Caste candidateâ€ the court said in its judgment.
â€œIn our view, since respondent no.3 has obtained the caste certificate fraudulently and got it validated fraudulently from the Caste Scrutiny Committee by producing fabricated and fraudulent documents, such caste certificate is cancelled and stands confiscatedâ€ the bench said.
â€œI respect the court’s order as a citizen of this country. I will approach the Supreme Court. I am confident that I will get justice,â€ Navneet Kaur Rana said after the courtâ€™s order.