Caste Status is Gained by Birth, not by Marriage: Uttarakhand High Court

The Uttarakhand High Court  declared that caste status is gained by birth, not by marriage, and as a result, a girl who does not belong to one of the other backward classes will not be eligible for the reservation benefits offered to those groups just by marrying someone who does.

OBC Certificate on the basis of Father’s Income Rejected

This ruling was reached by the Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari bench in a case involving a woman’s petition challenging the Secretary of the Uttarakhand Medical Service Selection Board’s office memo dated 25.08.2022, which denied the petitioner’s request for appointment to the position of dental hygienist. Because she obtained her O.B.C. certificate by providing the address and income of her father rather than that of her husband, the petitioner was deemed unsuitable for employment. As a result, she withheld information about her marriage from the Competent Authority when she applied for the issuance of the O.B.C. certificate.

Mention of Husband’s income Unnecessary

As long as the petitioner’s O.B.C. certificate is valid, she is eligible for all advantages available to members. Nothing in the evidence indicates that the petitioner’s husband is a member of the creamy layer, and there is no substance to the discussion in paragraph no. 4 of the contested order. Although her request for appointment is denied, the impugned judgement makes no mention of the petitioner’s husband’s income.

Questions Contested & Judgment held

  1. It was questioned if the petitioner is a member of other backward classes. 

 In response to the first query, the Court noted that since this Court had already determined that the petitioner is a member of the O.B.C., that query could not be reopened.

  1. If she is a member of the creamy layer or not.

The Court clarified that the caste status of the petitioner’s parents is not in dispute and that it is also not in dispute that the petitioner is a permanent resident of the State of Uttarakhand in response to confusion regarding whether caste will be determined based on the parents’ caste or after marriage, the husband’s caste. Caste status is obtained through birth, not through union. 


As a result, a girl who does not belong to one of the other backward classes will not automatically qualify for an O.B.C.’s reservation just by marrying someone who does.The court further declared that a certificate from the competent authority confirming the petitioner’s membership in Other Backward Classes had been issued. Additionally attested in the aforementioned certificate is the petitioner’s non-belonging to the creamy layer.

Rejection is Unjustifiable

The Selecting Body Secretary’s justification for rejecting the petitioner’s request for appointment is unjustifiable in the eyes of the law, the Court explained in granting the writ petition, and it also ordered the respondents to recommend the petitioner’s name for appointment to the Competent Authority within two weeks, who will then pass the appropriate order, as required by law, within the following two week

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