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Caste is unalterable, can't change after marriage, rules SC

The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that an individual’s caste is unalterable and can’t change after marriage. In the process, the apex court halted the appointment of a teacher who joined Kendriya Vidyalaya 21 years ago taking benefit of reservation on grounds that she was married to a Scheduled Class man, The Times of India reported.

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The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that an individual’s caste is unalterable and can’t change after marriage. In the process, the apex court halted the appointment of a teacher who joined Kendriya Vidyalaya 21 years ago taking benefit of reservation on grounds that she was married to a Scheduled Class man, The Times of India reported.

According to the report, a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and M M Shantanagoudar said the woman, who is currently the school’s vice principal, was not entitled to the benefits of reservation as she was born in an upper caste family and her caste remained so despite marrying into a Scheduled Caste family.

The report adds that the woman was issued a caste certificate in 1991. Based on her academic qualifications, and the certificate, she was given a job in Kendriya Vidlaya in Pathankot in 1993.

Two decades after her appointment, someone filed a complaint against her seeking cancellation of her appointment, alleging that she had illegally obtained the certificate. Following an inquiry, the authorities cancelled her certificate and Kendriya Vidlaya terminated her appointment.

The teacher then approached the Allahabad HC, which dismissed her plea, following which she approached the apex court. The court, while stating that her employment could not be given, citing the caste ruling, modified the HC order that terminated her employment and changed it compulsory retirement. This, they said, owed to the fact that she had an exceptional record while in office.

"While exercising leniency, we have also kept in mind that she has neither played fraud nor misrepresented before authorities for getting the caste certificate... No questions were raised against her till the complaint ... came to be lodged, even when the authorities had seen the high school certificate, marksheet etc. showing her caste as Agarwal..." the bench said.

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