11 Feb, 2008, 1819 hrs IST,
A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and S H Kapadia held that the High Court had "misdirected" itself by merely relying on a letter purportedly written by the Director of Welfare Officer's office, Vellore, in arriving at a conclusion that the erring personnel's caste claim was genuine.
In this case, S Krishnan who was working as "gangman" in the Indian Railways was removed from service after it was found that he had produced a bogus caste certificate to claim himself as a "Malayalee", which is listed under the Scheduled Tribes in Tamil Nadu.
During the pendency of the departmental proceedings Krishnan corrected himself to claim that he belonged to the "Lambadi" (Sugalis), which, according to him was a Scheduled Tribe, entitling him to a reserved post.
He had produced a letter purportedly written by the Welfare Officer, who took the view that Lambadis were notified as Scheduled Tribe in the entire state, except Kanyakumari district.