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Cancellation of Candidature of acquitted persons in criminal case for the post of police constable by the Screening Committed upheld by the Supreme Court.

January 8, 2018



Cancellation of candidature of acquitted accused upheld by supreme court

A Bench of Supreme Court Judges Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit in Union Territory Chandigarh Administration & Ors, Civil Appeal No. 67, 68, 69 and 70 of 2018, upheld the decision of Screening committee that the acquitted accused in criminal case is not suitable for being appointed to the post of Constable. The batch of appeals were filed by the Union Territory of Chandigarh against the dismissal order of High Court.


The Screening committee had cancelled the candidature of the Respondents. But the Respondents had filed OA with CAT which was allowed by the CAT and directed the authorities to consider their candidature for the Post of Constable. The Union Territory, Chandigarh Administration had filed Appeal with the High Court against the order of CAT and the appeal was dismissed.

The facts of the case are On 14.03.2010, an advertisement was issued by UT Chandigarh Police through its Deputy Inspector General of Police inviting applications from the candidates to fill up 1200 temporary posts of Constable (Executive) in Chandigarh Police with essential qualification as prescribed in the advertisement with instructions for filling online application form. The recruitment was to be done as per guidelines thereon as well as standing order governing the recruitment of constables. Guideline No.2(A)(a) deals with the circumstances when the candidate does not disclose the factum of his involvement in the attestation form and the same is found subsequently from the verification report. The candidature of such candidates will be cancelled as per aforesaid guideline without making any reference to any Committee for further probe into the conduct of the candidate. In Guideline No.2(A)(b), it is prescribed that if a candidate has disclosed his involvement in some criminal case in the attestation form, then such case will be referred to Screening Committee to assess his suitability for appointment in Chandigarh Police irrespective of the fact that the case is under investigation, trial or resulted in conviction or acquittal.

Respondents were declared successful in the recruitment for the post of Constable (Executive) in Chandigarh Police after clearing the Physical Efficiency Test, Physical Measurement Test, written test and interview. However, the respondents were denied the employment on the ground that the respondents had been prosecuted in a criminal trial for the offences under Section 323 IPC and Section 506 read with Section 34 IPC and were acquitted by the trial court vide judgment dated 29.01.2010 giving them benefit of doubt. The case was referred to the Committee headed by Senior Superintendent of Police and it was found that the respondents were not suitable for appointment as Constables in the Chandigarh Police.


While concluding the Judgment the Court said that :
"In a catena of judgments, the importance of integrity and high standard of conduct in police force has been emphasized. As held in Mehar Singh case, the decision of the Screening Committee must be taken as final unless it is mala fide. In the case in hand, there is nothing to suggest that the decision of the Screening Committee is mala fide. The decision of the Screening Committee that the respondents are not suitable for being appointed to the post of Constable does not call for interference. The Tribunal and the High Court, in our view, erred in setting aside the decision of the Screening Committee and the impugned judgment is liable to be set aside."

The Court allowed the appeal filed by Union Territory of Chandigarh and upheld the cancellation of candidature of the Respondents.




Read the Judgment of Supreme Court in Union Territory, Chandigarh Administration and Ors v. Pradeep Kumar and Anr dated 8.1.2018



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