Religious conversion will not change a person’s caste; Intercast Marriage Certificate cannot be issued solely due to conversion: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court recently ruled that a person does not have the right to claim a certificate of “intercast marriage” under the pretext of their community certificate when they were originally from a certain caste but received a certificate. different community due to conversion to another religion. Judge SM Subramaniam observed that conversion does not change a person’s caste and that aspect cannot be removed to issue an intercast marriage certificate based on their current community certificate.

“This Court is of the opinion that the conversion from one religion to another religion will not change the caste of a person to which he belongs …

… by conversion from one religion to another religion, the caste of the person remains unchanged and therefore on the basis of the conversion to another religion, an intercast marriage certificate cannot be issued “, the Court observed in the judgment.

In the present case, the petitioner was originally from the Adi-Dravidar community and married a person from the Hindu community of Arunthathiyar, both of whom originally belong to listed castes. The petitioner was subsequently awarded a “backward class” certificate due to his subsequent conversion to Christianity.

“Where the applicant and his wife both belong to the community of castes listed by birth, simply because the applicant by virtue of the conversion has changed his religion would not oblige him to obtain the intercast marriage certificate”, the court recorded in the order.

The petition was filed for the issuance of a writ of mandamus requesting instructions from authorities to issue an intercast marriage certificate, citing that he had received a community certificate for “backward class” and that his wife was of the listed caste. , making the petitioner eligible for this certificate to enjoy benefits, including priority in public employment.

Judge SM Subramaniam, while rejecting the applicant’s plea, recorded his reasons:

“The very purpose and purpose of issuing an inter-cast marriage certificate is to provide certain social assistance schemes and, in such circumstances, the classification of the various castes as backward class, listed caste, class. the most backward and other classes cannot be grounds for inter-caste complaint. caste marriage certificate. “

To avoid abuse of the social assistance schemes granted by virtue of an intercast marriage certificate, it is only relevant to issue it if “one of the spouses belongs to the listed caste and the other spouse belongs to the other caste, but not otherwise ”, added the court.

The applicant’s lawyer, lawyer P. Saravanan, referred to GOMs.No.188 of 28.12.1976 to argue that an intercast marriage certificate must be issued when one of the spouses belongs to the listed castes .

Government attorney C. Jayaprakash claimed that the government issued a clarification regarding intercast marriages by letter No. 235, Department of Social Welfare dated 07/21/1997, which dismantled the petitioner’s claims. The said clarification establishes that the conversion and the resulting community certificate do not justify an intercast marriage certificate, argued the lawyer. Lawyer C. Jayaprakash also relied on the investigation report of the tax inspector, Mettur, who recorded that the applicant and his wife belong to the listed caste and are not eligible for the requested certificate.

The court relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Soosai Etc v. Indian Union and others, 1986 AIR 733 where it was mentioned that the listed castes are defined in article 24 of article 366 of the Constitution as being the cases encapsulated in article 341 of the Constitution. In the order of the High Court, a relevant paragraph of the judgment is also excerpted which mentions that the caste system is a feature of the Hindu social structure, peculiar to Hindu society. This demarcation based on vocation was then transformed into a structural hierarchy, then into a stratification which determined the status of an individual by birth, the court quotes from the Supreme Court ruling.

The court then relies on the judgment of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh in MASalam vs. Principal Secretary of the Government of Andhra Pradesh (2003) to establish that caste marriage certificates are intended to alleviate the same social stigma that a child faces, quite similar to the stigma that either parent may have experienced due to the fact that one of them comes from a lower caste. In MA Salam, the court uses an example to further explain the concept. If there has been a marriage between a Brahmin and a Listed Tribe and the couple and the offspring are accepted and the offspring grow up close to their Brahmin community, then the offspring cannot claim the reservation of the Listed Tribes as they there was no stigma attached to him / her / them growing up. If the situation is reversed and the offspring are raised as part of the listed tribal community, the reservation can be used.

Attorney C. Jayaprakash for the respondent authorities also mentioned that the Department of Social Welfare of the government of Tamil Nadu had passed another ordinance establishing the types of inter-caste marriages. According to the last ordinance, one of the spouses must belong to SC / ST and the other spouse can belong to any other community. Although this is the first case, another case where inter-caste marriage certificates can be granted would be where one spouse is in the backward class / most backward class and the other spouse is in the backward class / most backward class. the advanced community or any other community.

“Thus, with the exception of cases falling under the categories set out in the government decree, no other couple has the right to obtain intercast marriage certificates.“, the court consequently rejected the request for summons, declaring that there was no infirmity in the order refusing the intercast marriage certificate.

Case title: S. Paul Raj v. The Tahsildar, Mettur Thaluk & Anr.

Case n °: WPNo.15193 of 2016 & WMPNos.13240 and 13241 of 2016

Click here to read / download the order

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