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Woman sarpanch disqualified

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Jammu: A woman sarpanch was disqualified after her Scheduled Caste (SC) certificate was cancelled by the concerned authorities in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Wednesday.

The caste certificate of Santosh Kumari, a resident of Bhajnowa, was issued in her favour by the then Tehsildar, Nowshera on September 28, 1979.

But, after verification it came to fore that her father belonged to Vashist Rajput caste, they said, quoting an order issued by the additional deputy commissioner (ADC), Rajouri.

They said an inquiry was ordered against Kumari following a complaint that she had managed to get the certificate despite her family not belonging to Scheduled Caste.

The ADC, who is also the appellant authority under J&K Panchayat Raj Act, ordered the cancellation of the SC certificate.

Kumari had contested for the post of sarpanch in Panchayat Halqa Bhajnowa as an SC candidate and won the election in November 2020, officials said.

According to section 6 sub section 3 of Panchayat Raj Act, 1989 and Panchayat Raj Rule, 1996, a person who becomes a member of halqa panchayat on the basis of a fake SC or ST (Scheduled Tribe) certificate shall be disqualified from the date on which it is found that he/she had become a member or office bearer on the basis of a false caste certificate and shall remain disqualified for six years, officials said.

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