The Bombay High Court on Tuesday cancelled the caste certificate of Navneet Kaur Rana, an Independent member of Parliament from Maharashtra’s Amaravati, saying it was “validated fraudulently”. “Since she got it validated fraudulently from Caste Scrutiny Committee by producing fabricated and fraudulent documents, caste certificate is cancelled and stands confiscated,” the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court said, according to news agency ANI.
A division bench of Justice RD Dhanuka and Justice VG Bisht directed her to surrender it within six weeks. The bench also imposed a fine of ₹200,000, which she needs to pay to the Maharashtra Legal Services Authority within two weeks.
According to PTI, the high court noted her claim of belonging to ‘Mochi’ caste for obtaining the Scheduled Caste certificate itself was fraudulent. The court also said that it made with an intention to avail benefits given to a candidate from such category, despite knowing she does not belong to that caste.
“I respect the court’s order as a citizen of this country. I will approach the Supreme Court. I am confident that I will get justice,” Navneet Kaur Rana said after the court’s order, according to ANI.
The Bombay High court pronounced the order cancelling the lawmaker’s caste certificate on the complaint filed by veteran Shiv Sena leader Anandrao Adsul. Adsul was defeated in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by Rana, who won as an Independent candidate with support from the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Rana, a former Telugu actor, contested the election as a Yuva Swabhimani Paksha (YSP) candidate, a political outfit formed by her husband Ravi Rana. It was the second time Rana ran against Adsul after losing to him in 2014. She had fought as an NCP candidate that year.
Navneet Kaur Rana, who is one of the eight women lawmakers from Maharashtra, could lose her seat.