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Mapusa councillor faces disqualification over ‘fake’ caste certificate

Mapusa: Following direction of scrutiny committee, deputy collector of Bardez Gaurish Shankhwalkar has cancelled the caste certificate issued to councillor of Mapusa Municipality Swapnil Shirodkar.

With the cancellation of the caste certificate, Shirodkar faces disqualification as ward 15, which he represents, is reserved for an OBC councillor.

The deputy collector had issued provisional caste certificate to Shirodkar in 2010 as he claimed to belong to Nhavi community which is a community notified in the OBC list.

In 2016, a Mapusa resident had challenged the provisional certificate alleging that the respondent Shirodkar’s father was a native of Karnataka who had migrated to Goa in 1972 and was employed as sailor with Captain of Ports. Hence the respondent is not entitled for the caste certificate.

The complainant had contended that Shirodkar’s father Nagesh Vilas Mahale was a resident Kathinkon village in Karwar district, Karnataka since his birth. The passing certificate issued by Mysore secondary education examination board reveals that Vilas Mahale completed his SCC examination in 1969 which establishes that he was a native of Karwar and had not migrated prior to 1968. The complainant also said that the samaj organisation failed to scrutinise the authenticity of the document produced by the respondent while issuing the caste certificate. It was also alleged that the respondent had changed his name and surname by adopting unlawful method as the name of the respondent in same documents was ‘Sapnil Vilas Shirodkar’ while in election card and marriage certificate, it was ‘Swapnil Vilas Shirodkar.’

The respondent Shirodkar stated that the certificate granted by the deputy collector, Mapusa was verified by directorate of social welfare and it was intimated to him by letter dated April 20, 2012 certifying that he belongs to Nhavi OBC community.

He also stated that the samaj organisation had also duly certified that he belongs to community.

Shirodkar denied claims that his father migrated only after 1972. On the contrary, he claimed that his father worked as home guard prior to working with Captain of Ports.

The committee comprising of three members stated that, ‘‘It is mandatory for any applicant in the state of Goa to produce a proof of document to substantiate that he or she or their parents did not migrate to Goa after February 19, 1968 which is cut-off date to be eligible for entitlement of availing OBC certificate in the Goa.”

Deputy Collector Gaurish Shankhawalkar said that following order of scrutiny committee, he has revoked the caste certificate issued in 2011 and 2015 by the office of deputy collector.

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