Jobs of thousands of Maharashtra Government employees are at stake after Supreme Court ordered for the dismissal of all those who secured their jobs through forged certificates. As per the SC direction, around 11,700 employees who obtained positions through fake caste certificates under the Scheduled Tribes (ST) quota may lose both their degrees and posts soon.
Such frauds have come as an eye-opener for Maharashtra Government. This move is going to be a crucial task for the State Government as it could be a massive relieving of employees. Also, the State Government has to complete the work under Apex Court’s direction and also prevent the workforce from breaking out in protests. Therefore, State CM Devendra Fadnavis has been holding discussions with the law and judiciary department as well as the advocate general admitting that the SC’s order was clear-cut about the punishment for beneficiaries of the fraud.
Further, many of these employees who were recruited as clerks, posed as tribals to get jobs, and they have been working for the past two decades. Notably, these employees have risen to positions such as Deputy Secretary in the State Government. However, several politicians and unions have come out in their support by announcing a rally.
In July 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that those who submitted invalid caste certificates to secure admission into educational institutes or get a job could not be protected at any cost. It also had directed various State Governments to initiate action against such employees immediately. Moreover, the Apex Court had stated that such employees would be terminated from their jobs irrespective of their tenure.
Tribal activists enraged
Considering the gravity of the situation, the State governments failed to take immediate action against the employees even after five months. Therefore, organisations fighting for the rights of the tribals took out a protest by sending a legal notice to the government with a warning that they would file a contempt petition in the Supreme Court if the employees were not sacked.
The law and judiciary department and the advocate general AG have already stated that there’s no way to protect Maha employees. Chief secretary Sumit Mullick, who chaired the meeting at the state secretariat on January 20, told The Times of India that the government would follow the SC order. “I do not have the number of employees against whom action has to be taken, but we will follow the SC order,” Mullick said. A senior official from the general administration department said “Even if the employees are terminated from service, issues of subsequent legal action or recovery of earnings while the employee was in service will arise.”
Despite this, BJP MLA from Nagpur Vikas Kumbhare will be meeting CM Devendra Fadnavis today to ensure that no injustice should be meted out to genuine tribals. An official from the GAD told Times Of India that Fadnavis has recommended holding a meeting of various public representatives and union leaders with the AG to explicate the legal aspects behind the action.