Guwahati, Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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Fake quota claim: Court holds Tripura legislator guilty

 Agartala, Nov 21 (IANS): The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday upheld the decision of an administrative committee that found a ruling Left Front legislator had falsely claimed he belonged to the Scheduled Castes (SC) category, an official said here.

"The Imphal bench of the high court upheld the decision of the screening committee of the Scheduled Castes welfare department of the Tripura government that RSP (Revolutionary Socialist Party) legislator Partha Das did not belong to the SC category," an official of the SC welfare department told IANS.

The official said: "Das filed a plea in the Agartala bench of the high court challenging the decision of the departmental screening committee."

Justice T. Nandakumar Singh after hearing the plea here recently reserved his judgment, and pronounced Tuesday. The verdict was delivered at Imphal in Manipur as the judge currently was in that bench of the high court, he said.

After a probe, the screening committee of Tripura's Scheduled Castes welfare department served a notice on the legislator in August, questioning his claim that he belonged to the SC community.

The RSP is a partner of the ruling Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist. The issue also rocked the Tripura assembly recently.

Das was elected in 2008 from southern Tripura's Shalgarah assembly constituency, reserved for SC candidate.

"The Left Front, which always advocates transparency and honesty, is illegally giving shelter to a fake certificate holder legislator," opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath told reporters.

The opposition Congress has been demanding the arrest of the legislator and the revocation of his membership of the Tripura assembly.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar earlier said: "The government would accept the recommendations of the court. We would not give shelter to any fake certificate holder."

A West Tripura district magistrate recently gave a report to the government saying that the SC certificate of Partha Das's elder brother Chandan Kumar Das, a government doctor, had been cancelled.

Chandan Kumar Das moved the high court against the government order cancelling his caste certificate, and the matter is pending before court.

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