NEW DELHI, Jan 20 � Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma is in trouble, with the Supreme Court today directing the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to verify the veracity of his Schedule Tribe (ST) status.
Dr Sangma�s ST status has been challenged by an NGO, All North East Indigenous Garo Law Promoters� Association and another petitioner. The PILs have sought the cancellation of tribal certificate of Mukul Sangma.
The ST status of Mukul Sangma has been challenged on the grounds of his non-tribal motherhood.
A three-member Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivasm and comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice MY Eqbal, asked the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to look into the authenticity of the allegation within eight weeks� time.
However, the apex court added in its order that it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the matter.
The All North East Indigenous Garo Law Promoters� Association, in its PIL, said that the Garo tribe of Meghalaya is a matriarchal society where mother presides over the family and the family inherits her surname.
It was contended by the association that Sangma�s biological mother is a Muslim. Thus, going by the Garo tribe�s customs and traditions, adoption could not be a basis of getting tribal status. They alleged that Sangma does not belong to the �Sangma� clan, and that he had used his surname only to obtain a Scheduled Tribe certificate.