The top court, in a judgement delivered today, said it cannot allow anyone who has arrogated the benefits on the basis of false representation. It would amount to playing fraud with the constitutional goal of social justice and equality, the court said.
A bench of three justices -- Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, Justice NV Ramana and Justice DY Chandrachud -- reversed a Bombay High Court verdict which had held that if an employee is in service for a long time and later it surfaces that he had got it on the basis of a fake caste certificate, then he can be allowed to continue the job.
The court said that this deprives a person who is eligible to receive those benefits of a legitimate entitlement over someone who obtains the advantage with fake certificates. "This kind of capture poses a serious dimension. When a person who does not belong to a caste, tribe or class for whom reservation is meant, seeks to pass of as its member, such a stratagem constitutes a fraud on the Constitution," the top court observed.
The bench added, "The constitutional policy of creating reservations subserves a high constitutional value of providing social redress and a life of dignity to castes, tribes and classes which were in a historical sense oppressed by a systemic pattern of social exclusion and human deprivation."
The top court judgment came on a batch of petitions including one by Maharashtra government and the Food Corporation of India's Chairman and Managing Director.