July 6, 2021 11:18:30 pm
Gujarat High Court on July 5 issued summons to BJP MLA of Morva Hadaf constituency Nimisha Suthar along with Election Commission of India (ECI) in a petition by Suresh Katara, the Congress candidate from the seat, challenging the BJP MLA’s caste certificate to be false and that she does not belong to a scheduled tribe (ST), despite the Morva Hadaf seat being a reserved seat.
Morva Hadaf constituency seat, which was vacant, elected BJP MLA Nimisha Suthar in bypolls conducted in April this year, defeating the Congress candidate by a margin of over 45,600 votes.
As per Katara, at the time of submission of nomination forms, Katara had submitted an objection against Suthar’s form on the ground that Suthar “does not belong to the scheduled tribe and the caste certificate issued in favour of …(Suthar) is false and without any verification.” However, Katara in his petition before the HC, has submitted that the returning officer “mechanically…rejected the objection” raised by him. Election officer CD Rathwa too, has been issued summons by the court of Justice Nikhil Kariel.
Katara has submitted that Suthar “has illegally and by committing fraud usurped the right of a genuine Scheduled Tribe person,” and thus renders the election void and is required to be set aside.
Relying on the caste certificate records of Suthar’s father — Galabhai Vagadiya — Katara has submitted that he had declared himself to be Hindu Vagadiya, “which is belonging to SEBC and not ST” and subsequently in 1976, Galabhai “got false certificate that he is belonging to the Scheduled Tribe….of Hindu Bhil caste which is also notified as Scheduled Tribe.”
“It is stated that on the basis of the same, a certificate was issued in favour of… (Suthar) on 16.07.1998 by Mamlatdar Amreli that…(Suthar) is belonging to the Pateliya tribe which is a Scheduled Tribe…That the district collector, Panchmahal vide its report dated 07.06.2004 after undertaking proper scrutiny with regards to the caste certificate issued in favour of various persons, including father of… (Suthar), submitted its report, stating that the caste certificate obtained by the father of (Suthar) is false and is obtained by producing false records,” Katariya’s petition states.
The respondents have been issued summons to appear before the court on August 2.
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