Supreme court sets aside cop's CISF appointment
The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the appointment of a man to the post of constable in the Central Industrial Security Force while observing that an individual who wishes to join the police force must be a person of utmost rectitude with impeccable character and integrity while those with criminal antecedents are unfit for it.
The bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and J.K. Maheshwari passed the order after the Centre had challenged a ruling of Madhya Pradesh High Court which granted permission to him to join training after taking note that he was acquitted in a kidnapping case.
The bench noted that the ministry of home affairs issued the guidelines in February 2012 for consideration of the cases of the candidates against whom criminal cases were registered or tried by the courts.
In furtherance to the said guidelines, the case of the respondent was referred to CISF headquarters, New Delhi, in which the standing screening committee assembled and examined the cases of 89 candidates, including the respondent, and passed an order that the respondent was not eligible for appointment. This decision was challenged before a single bench of the high court which allowed his appointment. The division bench also upheld the decision.
Allowing the appeal against the high court’s decision, the apex court said that “it appears that the Committee was of the view that acquittal of the respondent, in the facts of the present case, cannot be termed as ‘honourable acquittal’ and the said acquittal may be treated by giving the benefit of the doubt”.
“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 criminal antecedents would not be fit in this category. The employer is having 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 bench said.
The apex court also said the employer is having the right to consider the suitability of the candidate according to government orders/instructions/rules at the time of taking the decision or induction of the candidate in employment.
“Acquittal on the technical ground in respect of the offences of heinous/serious nature, which is not a clean acquittal, the employer may have a right to consider all relevant facts available as to the antecedents, and may take an appropriate decision as to the continuance of the employee,” the bench said.
Even in this case, a truthful declaration regarding concluded trial has been made by the employee, still, the employer has the right to consider antecedents and cannot be compelled to appoint the candidate, the bench said.