Supreme Court upholds validity of Amravati MP Navneet Kaur Rana’s caste certificate

The Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed the validity of the caste certificate of Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Lok Sabha MP Navneet Kaur Rana, Bar and Bench reported. The court set aside a Bombay High Court judgement that had set aside the caste certificate.

After the Supreme Court verdict, Rana filed her nomination from Maharashtra’s Amravati constituency for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, ANI reported. She was elected from the seat in 2019 as well.

Former MP Anandrao Adsul, who represented Amravati from 2009 to 2019, had filed a petition before the High Court challenging a certificate stating that Rana belonged to the “Mochi” caste, which is in the Scheduled Castes category. The caste certificate was issued by the Mumbai Deputy Collector, and validated by the Mumbai Suburban District Caste Certificate Scrutiny Committee.

In June 2021, the High Court held that Rana had got her caste certificate fraudulently by using fabricated documents. The court directed her to surrender it within six weeks and imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh.

However, later that month, a vacation bench of the Supreme Court stayed the High Court judgement.

On Thursday, a bench of Justices JK Maheshwari and Sanjay Karol, while hearing Rana’s petition, said that the scrutiny committee had considered the documents relevant to her caste certificate and had passed its decision.

“It did not merit any interference [from the Bombay High Court] under Article 226,” the top court said. Article 226 deals with the power of High Courts to issue certain writs.

In 2019, Rana won the election as an Independent candidate with the support of the Nationalist Congress Party. She joined the BJP on March 27.

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