New Delhi: Off-springs of inter-caste
marriages cannot be denied the benefits of reservation on the
mere ground that one of the parent belonged to upper caste,
the Supreme Court has ruled.
A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai
passed the ruling upholding an appeal filed by Rameshbhai
Dabhai Naika challenging a Gujarat Government`s decision to
strip him of reservation benefits under ST quota as his father
belonged to the upper caste Kshatriya community.
"In an inter-caste marriage or a marriage between a
tribal and a non-tribal the determination of the caste of the
offspring is essentially a question of fact to be decided on
the basis of the facts adduced in each case.
"The determination of caste of a person born of an
inter-caste marriage or a marriage between a tribal and a
non-tribal cannot be determined in complete disregard of
attending facts of the case," Justice Alam writing the
The apex court said in an intercaste marriage or a
marriage between a tribal and a non-tribal there may be a
presumption that the child has the caste of the father.
"This presumption may be stronger in the case where in
the inter-caste marriage or a marriage between a tribal and a
non-tribal the husband belongs to a forward caste.
"But by no means the presumption is conclusive or
irrebuttable and it is open to the child of such marriage to
lead evidence to show that he/she was brought up by the mother
who belonged to the scheduled caste/scheduled tribe," the apex