Observing that it was a fraud on the Constitution, the Bombay High Court bench of Justices Ramesh Dhanuka and Riyaz Chagla upheld the orders that stripped a doctor of his Bachelor's in Dental Surgery (BDS) degree, for securing admission by submitting a bogus caste certificate.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Dr Raj Mohammed Ali Merchant challenging the decision of the Krishna Institute of Medical Scientist Deemed to be University, which in October 2020 cancelled his degree.
According to the plea, Merchant secured admission in this deemed university in 2008 under the NRI quota. He completed the course in 2014 and secured his job in the Government Dental College and Hospital after interning for a brief period of time with the state-run J J Hospital.
However, during his tenure at the dental college, it was found that the caste validity certificate submitted by Merchant at the time of his admission was bogus as it wasn't approved by the Scrutiny Committee.
Accordingly, he was removed from his job and his degree was cancelled after he failed to furnish a proper explanation for his bogus caste certificate.
However, Merchant contended that he never submitted the caste certificate and instead had taken admission under the NRI quota.
But the bench noted that for taking admissions, Merchant had availed the 10 percent concession in marks, given to reserved category students.
As per the admission brochure, open category students should have scored a minimum of 50 per cent in Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB) (counted together). For reserved category students, the marks were relaxed to a minimum of 40 per cent, under which Merchant got admission.
Having noted this fact, the bench said, "In our view even if Merchant has paid the fees under NRI quota, he would not have secured admission unless he had obtained more than 50 per cent marks in PCB. If he would have been granted admission in the NRI quota, he would not have submitted any caste certificate to get admission. It is thus clear that the caste certificate submitted by him was submitted to avail of the 10 per cent relaxation."
"In our view, he had fraudulently obtained admission by submitting a fake certificate. Having obtained the BDS degree on the basis of such false certificate has committed a fraud on the Constitution of India," the bench opined while upholding the decision to cancel his degrees.
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