The Madras High Court has held that a person will not be entitled to an inter-caste marriage certificate if he actually belonged to a Scheduled Caste but had obtained a Backward Class certificate after converting to Christianity and then married a Scheduled Caste woman.
Justice S.M. Subramaniam held so, while dismissing a writ petition filed by an engineer against the refusal of the Mettur Tahsildar to issue an inter- caste marriage certificate, though he had married a woman belonging to the Scheduled Caste (Arunthathiyar) community.
The judge said, the object behind issuance of inter-caste marriage certificates was to provide certain welfare schemes. In such circumstances, when both the husband and wife belong to the same caste, they would not be entitled to the certificate for the purpose of availing of the benefits under various schemes.
“This court is of the considered opinion that conversion from one religion to another religion will not change the caste of a person. In the present case, the petitioner admittedly belongs to Christian Adi Dravidar community and by virtue of conversion to Christianity he was issued with the Backward Class certificate.”
“However, by birth, the petitioner belongs to Adi Dravidar community and change of religion will not change the community. In the event of a converted person claiming inter-caste marriage certificate, it would pave way for the citizen to abuse the benefit to be granted under the inter-caste marriage quota,” the judge wrote.