HC allows 20-year-old to take mother’s caste | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC allows 20-year-old to take mother’s caste

Mar 26, 2022 06:17 PM IST

Even before the divorce, she was looked after and taken care of in all respects by her mother, who belongs to the Mahar community, a scheduled caste.

Mumbai: The Bombay high court (HC) has held a 20-year-old city resident entitled to take the caste of her mother who raised her as a single parent after separating from her husband. The division bench of justice Sunil Shukre and justice GA Sanap noted that the young woman was almost entirely brought up by her mother even before she got legally separated from her husband in November 2009.

Gavel and law books (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Gavel and law books (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The bench said, having been born in August 2002, the petitioner was hardly seven years of age at that time of her parent’s divorce and was thereafter raised by her mother as a single parent. Even before the divorce, she was looked after and taken care of in all respects by her mother, who belongs to the Mahar community, a scheduled caste. “The vigilance enquiry officer found that the father of the petitioner never cared for his two children and never related to them in any manner nor did he take his children to any of his paternal relatives,” the court noted.

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“Thus, the evidence shows that for all purposes the petitioner has grown and has been reared in an atmosphere and with customs, traditions and practices that prevail in a household inhabited by persons belonging to Mahar caste, which is the caste of her mother,” said the bench. “This evidence would certainly entitle the petitioner to stake a claim as belonging to Mahar caste, as per the law laid down by the apex court in the case of Rameshbhai Dabhai Naika v/s. State of Gujarat,” it added.

The 20-year-old had moved high court in October 2020, after the Caste Scrutiny Committee invalidated her caste claim, primarily on the ground that she had not submitted any documents from her paternal side and mainly relied on the documents of mother’s side, to claim that she belonged to the scheduled caste. HC held that the Scrutiny Committee failed to properly appreciate the evidence on record and that the petitioner was entitled to the same social status as that of her mother, having been almost entirely brought up by her mother alone.

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