Caste of a child born to inter-caste couple could depend upon the circumstances in which the child was brought up: AP HC

36 (1)What would be the caste of a child, whose father belonged to a Forward Community and mother from a Scheduled Caste Community? Normal presumption is that his/her caste would be that of her father. The question whether such a child can have caste of her mother, and whether such a certificate issued by Revenue authority is legal, has been answered by a Division Bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court in the affirmative.

Sabbella Siri Manjoosha Reddy, had approached the High Court challenging the decision of University which denied her admission to under-graduate medical courses under the quota reserved for Scheduled Castes, even though she possessed a community certificate by the Tahsildar stating that she belongs to SC community. The Division Bench comprising of Justices V. Ramasubramanian and Anis referring to Apex Court decision in Rameshbhai Dabhai Naika Vs. State of Gujarat observed: “It is clear that the Supreme Court did not say that a child born to a couple, who married transgressing the barriers of Caste, would take the community of his or her father and not that of his or her mother.

On the contrary, the Supreme Court categorically pointed out that the answer to the question would depend upon the circumstances in which the child was brought up and that the same was primarily one of facts.” The High Court also observed that University cannot disregard certificate issued by competent authority and cannot question its validity. The Court added: “In so far as the case on hand is concerned, the petitioners mother has sworn to an affidavit in support of the writ petition claiming that after her marriage, she stayed only with her family in her Village and that the children were brought by her, according to the customs and practices prevailing in the community. It is, perhaps, on the basis of such a claim that the Revenue Department chose to issue the community certificate to the petitioner.”



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