New Delhi(PTI): A person who converts back to Hinduism from Christianity shall be eligible for reservation under Scheduled Caste if their ancestors belonged to such a caste, the Supreme Court bench ruled on Thursday, according to a report in the Indian Express. The bench said that this is subject to the community accepting the person after he/she has converted back.
The ruling was made on an appeal filed by KP Manu who had reconverted to Hinduism and got a caste certificate. However, a scrutiny committee, set up under the Kerala (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Regulation of Issue of Community Certificates Act cancelled his certificate because he was born to Christian parents.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court cited the need for solid proof that the person belonged to Scheduled Caste and said that such a person is eligible for benefits even if his parents have converted to Christianity as long as there is enough proof that his grandparents or forefathers belonged to the community.
The bench, comprising of Justices Dipak Misra and V Gopala Gowda, cited the Mandal Commission report, the Chinappa Commission report and articles by BR Ambedkar and James Massey. The bench also said that if accepted by their community, even marriage to a Christian will not deprive the person of this status.
Manu worked with Malabar Cements and had been dismissed from his job after the cancellation of his caste certificate. He was also penalised, being asked to pay back the salary of Rs.15 lakh that had been paid to him during his tenure.
The bench overturned this ruling and ordered the company to reinstate him and pay him back wages.