On 16th December 2020, a Division Bench consisting of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sangeet Lodha and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Rameshwar Vyas heard the case of Vikas v. State of Rajasthan via video conferencing.
The appeal was directed against the order passed by learned Single Judge, where the writ petition for rejecting the appellant’s candidature for appointment on the post of Constable, was dismissed.
Facts of the case
The appellant applied for appointment to the post of Constable in accordance with the advertisement issued by the Director General of Police, Rajasthan. The appellant was denied appointment as he did not disclose his involvement in a criminal case where he was subjected to trial for offences under Sections 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 325 (Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 448 (Punishment for house-trespass) and 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) IPC.
The appellant filed a writ petition aggrieved by the rejection before the Jaipur Bench of the Court, which was dismissed by the Learned Single Judge. The appellant did not question the legality of his rejection to the post of Constable for a period of 15 months, but challenged dismissal of the writ petition. Hence, the appeal was filed.
Contentions of the Appellant
Learned Counsel contended that the Single Judge made serious errors in the dismissal of the writ petition on the ground of delay. He contended that the non-disclosure of the fact of involvement in a criminal case was purely bona fide. He further contended that the rejection of the candidature on the ground of suppression of facts by the appellant, is ex facie illegal and arbitrary.
He placed reliance on the case of Avtar Singh v. Union of India (2016) 8 SCC 471, which held that “even if the factum of involvement in criminal case was suppressed, the appointment could not have been denied to the appellant in as much as, the offences for which he was tried, were trivial in nature and he was acquitted by the Criminal Court for lack of evidence.”
The Counsel further placed reliance on the following cases:
- Bhuta Ram v. State of Rajasthan, 2016
- State of Rajasthan v. Love Kush Meena, 2019
- State of Rajasthan v. Suresh, 2020
- State of Rajasthan v. Chetan Jeff, 2018
Contentions of the Respondent
Learned Additional Advocate General, Mr. Manish Vyas, submitted that the appellant deliberately suppressed the fact of involvement in the criminal case. He further contended that the appellant mentioned ‘ugha’ in the verification roll in the column w.r.t the involvement in criminal cases, and thus the non-disclosure of facts was absolutely not bona fide.
He further placed reliance on the case of Union Territory Chandigarh Administration v. Pradeep Kumar (2018) 1 SCC 797, and submitted that the acquittal of the appellant cannot be presumed to be an honourable acquittal and does not entitle him for appointment automatically.
The Court observed that the selection process for the appointment of the post of Constable initiated by the respondents in 2012 was concluded in 2014. The posts advertised remained vacant and was not re-advertised. On this ground the Court found no error in the dismissal of the writ petition.
The Court referred to the case of the State of Uttaranchal & Anr. vs. Shri Shiv Charan Bhandari (2013) 12 SCC, 179, which held that “consideration of the representation relating to a stale claim or dead grievance does not give rise to fresh cause of action”.
The Court observed that none of the cases cited by the learned counsel for the appellant were relevant as most of the cases did not show the suppression of fact of involvement in criminal cases.
The Court referred to the cases of:
- Commissioner of Police, New Delhi v. Mehar Singh (2013) 7 SCC 685
- Inspector General of Police v. S. Samuthiram (2013) 1 SCC 598
- Avtar Singh v. Union of India (2016) 8 SCC 471 which held that “A candidate to be recruited to the police service must be of impeccable character and integrity. A person having criminal antecedents will not fit in this category. Even if he is acquitted or discharged, it cannot be presumed that he was honourably acquitted/completely exonerated.”
The Court held that the appellant did not challenge the legality of the order for a period of 3 years, and thus relief cannot be extended to a person who failed to approach the court without utmost expedition. The Court thus, dismissed the special appeal.
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