Manish Raj, TNN | Jun 22, 2014,

CHENNAI: Twenty-one years after a co-operative inspector was dismissed from service on the ground of submitting a fake caste certificate, the Madras high court has directed Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) to reinstate him. It also said TNPSC did not have the jurisdiction to cancel the selection of any candidate by doubting the community status.

V Narasimhan of Kotagiri in Nilgiris district was appointed as junior inspector of co-operative societies after he cleared a ‘special qualifying exam.’ However, TNPSC in July 1993 terminated him from service saying his community certificate was fake. Narasimhan had submitted a certificate which said he belonged to the Puthirai Vannan community, listed as a scheduled caste.

The same year, he moved the state administrative tribunal which transferred his case to the Madras HC. In 2006, the court upheld the decision of TNPSC. Narasimhan filed review petitions which too were dismissed. In 2013, he approached the court again and filed two appeals.

Meanwhile, in 2010 the tahsildar of Kotagiri issued him a community certificate, which said he belonged to the Hindu Puthiri Vannan community, which was recognised as a schedule caste under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Orders (amendment) Act, 1976.

On June 4, 2014, his appeal was listed before the high court. The court directed the special government pleader to verify the 2010 certificate. The tahsildar said the certificate was genuine and had been issued from his office.

Rapping the commission, the bench of Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice M Sathyanarayanan on Thursday said a full bench of the HC had in 2011 “finally settled” that cancelling a selection by suspecting the community certificate was beyond the ambit of TNPSC. “It is beyond doubt that Narasinhan’s community certificate was not bogus,” said the bench.

Though Narasimhan had been kept out of service for more than 21 years and “his agony was understandable”, the court could not award him back-wages for the period, the bench said. But it promoted him and asked TNPSC to reinstate him with continuity of service within two weeks. “The entire service from the date of initial appointment shall be counted as regular service for all purposes,” the bench said.

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