90k caste certificates to be vetted for bogus cases
While govt made 89,372 appointments under reserved categories, it didn’t verify caste certificates; checks to clear way for genuine cases
Laxity on the part of high-power committees (HPCs) entrusted with the job of verifying caste validity certificates of government employees is piling up cases of case validation of state’s employees.
People lining up for acquiring caste certificates at the collectors’ office, earlier. File pic
Of 15 such committees, only four are functioning across the state, while the rest are cooling their heels, thanks to a lack of quorum to decide on pending cases. But if the committees sort out pending cases rapidly, employees who have submitted bogus certificates would be terminated from service, thus paving way for genuine candidates to enter government services.
“Say if 10 per cent of 89,372 pending cases turn to be bogus, then that much quota would be filled with deserving candidates who are genuinely from the reserved category,” said DR Parihar, director general of Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (BARTI).
The government, which had asked the employees to submit by March 31, may act anytime to terminate them.
Usually employees submit the certificates at the time of appointment to positions set aside under the caste reservation quota, and they are verified by the HPCs.
But chairperson of the All India State Government Employee’s Federation, RG Karnik, said, “The government did not raise the question of the employees’ certificate at the time of their recruitment.”
mid-day found out that the committees, headed by officers of the rank additional collector from the revenue department — who are additionally given the charge and paid Rs 8,000-10,000 in addition to their salary — are virtually defunct as no accountability is affixed on them.
BARTI sources said certificates are piling up for verification due to absenteeism. “Committee members remain absent most of the time, and the cases are pending,” they said, adding, “It is a perfect arrangement of the government to allow employees to occupy reserved seats by submitting fake certificates. It needs to act aptly, on war footing, to complete the verification process.”
Employees who have failed to submit the certificates in time, however, blamed the committees. “We are not at fault. It is the HPCs which have been slow. How can the government terminate us?” said Karnik.
State social justice minister Shivajirao Moghe denied that there was any arrears of caste validation cases. “The cases are not pending. Rather, those employees haven’t submitted their certificates in time,” Moghe said. He added that the state cabinet has decided to increase the number of HPCs up to 34; the committees would be formed in each district.