Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Allahabad High Court directs to consider candidature if tattoos removed

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The Allahabad High Court has directed the Central Government to consider petitioners candidature if they remove their tattoos who participated in the 2018 Services Selection Board (SSB) recruitment process but were denied employment on account of certain tattoos on a certain part of their hands (forearm).

A Single Bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Avneesh Kumar And 2 Others.

In this matter, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India on July 20, 2018 issued an advertisement for the recruitment of Head Constables (Ministerial). The petitioners who were qualified for being appointed to the posts in question, had applied and were also declared successful in the result which was declared on May 20, 2021. The petitioners appeared for their typing test and were declared successful in the typing test also on September 17, 2021.

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Thereafter they were required to have their medical examination on November 13, 2021 and had to report for this purpose at 8.00 AM.

The petitioners, however, were found unfit by orders dated November 15, 2021. Resultantly, they applied for the review medical examination on November 16, 2021, the result of which was declared on November 17, 2021 and these results have been challenged before this Court.

The petitioner no 1-Avneesh Kumar was declared unfit on account of the fact that he had a tattoo mark on his right forearm. The petitioner no 2-Mohit Kumar was also declared unfit on account of the fact that he had a tattoo mark on the right forearm and the petitioner no 3-Gaurav Kumar was declared unfit for having a tattoo mark on his right forearm and also for a reason that he had extensive tinea versicolor on back shoulder.

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The contention of counsel for the petitioners is that the petitioners had prayed that if an opportunity was provided, they would have removed the tattoos and thereafter the review medical examination could again be done on the petitioners.

Counsel for the petitioners relied upon a judgment of the Court passed in Service Bench (Vihaan Nagar vs. Union of India & Ors.) dated November 7, 2013 has submitted that if tattoos were removed then a review medical could always be done in which the petitioners could be found fit for selection.

Additional Solicitor General of India S.P Singh assisted by Pramod Kumar Pandey, however, on the basis of instructions which they have received submitted that so far as the removal of tattoos is concerned, the respondents would be bound by the Division Bench judgment of the High Court referred to by counsel for the petitioners. He, however, submitted that the petitioner nos 2 and 3 who were also having Myopia and extensive tinea versicolor on back shoulder would be considered for employment only if those diseases were no longer there.

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Under such circumstances, the Court issued a direction that if the petitioners’ tattoos are removed then that particular disability may not be considered as an obstacle for selection on the ministerial posts for which the petitioners had applied.

However, if the petitioner nos 2 and 3 had any disability which according to the respondents were permanent in nature, then they may not be considered. The review medical board shall complete this exercise within a period of two months, the Court said while allowing the petition.

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