Thursday, December 1, 2022

Allahabad High Court refuses to interfere with order of accused joining police force

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The Allahabad High Court has refused to interfere with the order that a person accused of molesting a minor should not join the police force.

A Single Bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Sudhir Kumar.

In this petition, the Petitioner is desirous to become a member of a disciplined force and for that he has crossed many hurdles in examination process on the basis of his physical and mental strength.

However, a hurdle erected by the petitioner himself came in the way before crossing the finish line. Hurdle is the involvement of petitioner in Case under Sections 363, 366, 368, 376, 511, 420, 467, 471 and 120B and Section 3/4 POCSO Act.

Vinay Kumar Singh, counsel for petitioner submitted that earlier, the Court has passed three specific orders to consider the case of petitioner by respondents in the light of Avtar Singh vs Union of India and Others; (2016) 8 SCC 471 and that petitioner had bonafidely disclosed the details of criminal case in Attestation Form, however, respondents’ authorities in similar way has again rejected representation of petitioner by order dated 16.12.2021 without advertising to the principles of Avtar Singh (Supra).

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The above submissions are opposed by the Standing Counsel and submitted that there are serious charges against petitioner which could not be considered to be of trivial nature because they fall under moral turpitude and therefore, after considering the entire facts and circumstances, representation of petitioner was rejected and petitioner was not allowed to join the services.

It is undisputed that the petitioner was charged under the aforesaid offences which are serious offences under Section 376 IPC and POCSO Act also.

The Court noted that, the contention of the counsel for petitioner is liable to be rejected on the basis of paragraph 38.6 in Avtar Singh (Supra) wherein it is specifically mentioned that :-

“38.6 In case when fact has been truthfully declared in character verification form regarding pendency of a criminal case of trivial nature, employer, in facts and circumstances of the case, in its discretion, may appoint the candidate subject to decision of such case.”

So far as prayer of petitioner is concerned, a recent judgment passed by the Supreme Court would act as a last nail in coffin of aforesaid prayers, where in similar circumstances, it has been held in Union of India and others vs Methu Meda; (2022) 1 SCC 1 that a person having a criminal antecedent which are not of trivial nature and are of serious nature, is not fit to join the disciplined force.

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For reference, para 20 is quoted hereinafter :-

“In view of the aforesaid, it is clear the respondent who wishes to join the police force must be a person of utmost rectitude and have impeccable character and integrity.

A person having a criminal antecedents would not fit in this category. The employer has the right to consider the nature of acquittal or decide until he is completely exonerated because even a possibility of his taking to the life of crimes poses a threat to the discipline of the police force.

The Standing Order, therefore, has entrusted the task of taking decisions in these matters to the Screening Committee and the decision of the Committee would be final unless mala fide. In the case of Pradeep Kumar (supra), this Court has taken the same view, as reiterated in the case of Mehar Singh (supra).

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The same view has again been reiterated by this Court in the case of Raj Kumar (supra)”.

“In view of above facts and circumstances of case as well law on issue, no case is made out to interfere with impugned order under the writ jurisdiction”

-the Court observed while dismissing the petition.

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