The Gujarat Government will introduce a bill in the upcoming Budget session to curb the practice of using fake caste certificates to avail benefits meant for those in the reserved categories, state Tribal Development Minister Ganpat Vasava said today.
Vasava, speaking in Surat, said those found guilty, of producing fake caste certificate for government jobs or for admissions in educational institutes or to contest polls on reserved seats, would face a jail term of three years and a fine of Rs 50,000.
"To protect the rights of the backward communities, our government has decided to bring an Act having stringent provisions, for which, the bill will be introduced in the upcoming session" he said. The Budget Session of the Gujarat Assembly starts from February 19.
He said the state government had taken the decision to bring such a bill after receiving complaints about the issuing as well as producing of fake caste certificate to get the benefits of reservation.
"As per the Bill, those found guilty of producing a fake caste certificate will face a jail term of up to three years. Those who have acquired a job using such certificates will be dismissed from service. The government will also recover all the monetary benefits, such as salary and perks, he had availed while in service" said Vasava.
Similarly, the government would cancel the admissions of those found guilty of acquiring them by using such fake caste certificates.
"The bill also provides for the cancellation of the degree of a student if he or she is found guilty. If an elected representative is found guilty, he would face disqualification as well as recovery of monetary benefits" the minister said.
Vasava added the once the Act came into force, those wanting to take benefits of the reservation policy, be it in jobs, education or while contesting polls on a reserved seat, would have to first verify their caste certificates from a designated committee.
"It is the priority of this government to protect the Constitutional rights of Scheduled Tribes(STs), Scheduled Castes(SCs) and of OBCs. No one is allowed to snatch their rights by producing fake caste certificates. We have been receiving complaints in this regard for some time now," Vasava told reporters in Surat today, adding that it was a serious crime.
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