The Madras high court has ruled that the caste of a person remains unchanged after getting converted from one religion to another, and based on the same, no inter-caste marriage certificate can be issued.
Justice S M Subramaniam gave the ruling while dismissing a writ petition from S Paul Raj of Salem Camp in Mettur taluk, last week.
The petition sought to quash an order dated June 19, 2015 of the Salem district administration and consequently direct the authorities concerned to issue the inter-caste marriage certificate to him.
The petitioner belonged to the Adi-Dravida community. As he converted to Christianity, he was issued with a community certificate classifying him as Backward Class as per a GO of the Social Welfare Department dated July 30, 1985.
He married a woman belonging to the Hindu Arunthathiyar community.
The wife of the petitioner was given the community certificate as Scheduled Caste as per the provisions of the SC/ST (Amendment) Act, 1976. While so, petitioner, relying on a GO of the Personnel and Administrative Reforms department dated December 28, 1976, submitted an application for grant of inter-caste marriage certificate for availing the benefits of priority in public employment.
By the June, 2015 order the Salem district administration rejected the plea. Hence, the present petition.
The judge noted that in this case the petitioner belongs to Christian Adi-Dravidar, which is also a Schedule Caste community and following his conversion, he was issued with the Backward Class certificate. The wife of the petitioner, admittedly is from the Scheduled Caste.
When both the petitioner and his wife belong to Scheduled Caste community by birth, merely because the petitioner by virtue of conversion changed the religion would not entail him to get the inter-caste marriage certificate, the court ruled.
The very purpose and object of issuance of inter-caste marriage certificate is to provide certain welfare schemes and in such circumstances the classification of various castes as Backward Class, Scheduled Caste, Most Backward Class and others cannot be a ground to claim inter-caste marriage certificate.
It is the caste/community which has to be taken into consideration and when both the husband and wife belong to the same, then they are not entitled for the inter-caste marriage certificate for the purpose of availing the benefits under various schemes. Thus, the order impugned passed is in consonance with the principles laid down, the judge said and dismissed the petition.