Mumbai: In a reprieve for BJP parliamentarian Jaysiddheshwar Shivacharya Mahaswami, the Bombay High Court on Thursday stayed the orders of the caste scrutiny committee, which invalidated his caste certificate. The committee had also ordered criminal prosecution of the MP from Solapur.
Mahaswami had defeated senior Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde with a margin of nearly 1.5 lakh votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
A bench of Justices Kamal Tated and Sarang Kotwal ordered the committee as well as the police not to take any coercive steps till further orders.
The bench was dealing with a plea filed by Mahaswami challenging the orders of the committee that invalidated his claim of belonging to the “Bedajangam” caste under the Scheduled Caste (SC) category. He had furnished a certificate stating his caste, issued in Akkalkot in 1982.
In his challenge to the orders, Mahaswami through senior counsel Prasad Dhakephalkar argued that the committee did not give him an opportunity to lead oral evidence to substantiate his claims.
Having heard the contentions, the bench ordered the committee to respond to the plea. The bench has adjourned the matter for further hearing till April 8.