Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Wednesday put a stay on the cancellation of the caste certificate of Bhupendra Khant, who was elected to the state assembly from the Morva Hadaf constituency that is reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs), and told the legislator to submit the relevant documents to the Gujarat Tribal Development Commission by 7 February.
The tribal development commission had cancelled Khant’s caste certificate after Vikram Dindor, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for the seat, had filed a complaint alleging that Khant has submitted a fake certificate to show that he belonged to the ST category.
Khant said on Tuesday that he would approach the high court to challenge the commission’s decision.
Khant, who was a member of the Congress prior to the December elections and had rejoined the party after the results, contested the state assembly elections in December from Morva Hadaf, in the Panchmahals district, as an independent candidate after the opposition party offered the seat to its ally, the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) led by Chhotu Vasava.
“My mother belonged to the Scheduled Tribes category and my father was from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. I was born and raised in my maternal home. My maternal uncle legally entered the ST category on my birth certificate. So, my certificate is valid and I have done nothing wrong,” the Gujarat legislative assembly member (MLA) said on Tuesday.
The high court said the next hearing in the matter will take place by 21 February.