Caste certificates in Bengal to be granted at district magistrate level only
As a first step, caste certificates can be now issued only at the district magistrate level, negating the earlier system of issuance at the sub-division officer level
Amid rising complaints of fake caste certificates being issued at the district levels in West Bengal, the state government is in the process of bringing in some procedural changes to make the system watertight and strict.
As a first step, caste certificates can be now issued only at the district magistrate level, negating the earlier system of issuance at the sub-division officer level.
This has been necessitated by frequent complaints that the certificates issued from the sub-division officer level have been issued to persons whose surnames do not figure in the list of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward class categories.
Sources from the state government said that clear instructions have come from the state secretariat to identify those persons who have been granted such caste certificates despite their surnames not matching the list of scheduled surnames, examine each case and in case of any irregularity cancel those certificates.
The complaints of issuance of fake caste certificates were maximum before the recently-concluded polls for the three-tier panchayat system in West
Bengal. The Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal Assembly made this a major issue before the rural civic polls and the matter of issuance of fake caste certificates was even taken up at the Calcutta High Court. As many as three bureaucrats, found guilty after preliminary investigation, were suspended.
However, a state government official said that those having caste certificates despite their names not matching the scheduled surname list,
will not be cancelled summarily without giving them the chance to argue their points. Each such person will be given specific time to come to the
concerned office and argue his or her case.
"In case of satisfactory argument backed by substantiating proof, the person concerned will be allowed to retain his or her caste certificate.
Otherwise those certificates will be cancelled," said a top official from the state secretariat.