Caste Validity certificates must for nominations

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Mumbai, Jan 14 (UNI) Barely a month after the Bombay High Court held the period of 120 days for submitting Caste Validity Certificates as not mandatory for all local self government bodies in the state, Maharashtra government has come out with new regulation, requiring the contesting candidates to produce Caste Validity certificates along with nomination papers.

The Government had amended Acts governing elections for Zilla Parishads, Panchayat Samitees, Municipal Corporations, Councils, Village Panchayats and stipulated a provision, making it mandatory for all corporators representing Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as also backward classes to submit Caste Validity Certifiactes within four months of declaration of results.

But, the Bombay High Court had ruled that the statutory period of 120 days, prescribed by state government to submit Caste Validity Certificates was not mandatory. The court had observed that penal consequences, stipulated in amendments, were not meant to operate against genuine persons, but, against imposters only and that the period of 120 day for production of Caste Validity Certificates was merely a procedural requirement.

To overcome the difficulty created by the High Court order, the state government has issued a circular on January 8, making it mandatory for all candidates contesting any Local Self Government Body election to produce Caste Validity Certificate along with the nomination papers.

The state government has filed a reply affidavit to a petition filed by Krantikari Jaihind Sena and the development has been communicated to the court.

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