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  India   All India  16 Oct 2018  ‘Can’t deny job to person acquitted in criminal case’

‘Can’t deny job to person acquitted in criminal case’

THE ASIAN AGE. | J VENKATESAN
Published : Oct 16, 2018, 1:31 am IST
Updated : Oct 16, 2018, 1:31 am IST

In June 2010, the appellant was denied appointment on account of an adverse character certificate given by the police.

Supreme Court
 Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that there cannot be any mechanical application of the principle of ‘moral turpitude’ to deny appointment in public services.

Giving this recent ruling, a three judge bench of Justices Kurian Joseph, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and Navin Sinha said the judicial service is undoubtedly very different from other services and the yardstick of suitability that may apply to other services may not be the same for a judicial service. However, there cannot be a mechanical or rhetorical incantation of moral turpitude to deny appointment in judicial service.

The appellant in this case, Mohammad Imran, was acquitted of charges of kidnapping and related offences prior to his taking and clearing the examination for judicial services. In his attestation forms, he had duly disclosed that he had been charged and thereafter acquitted for these offences. Later, he also cleared the interview round and was recommended for appointment by the Maharashtra Public Service Commission in 2009.

However, in June 2010, the appellant was denied appointment on account of an adverse character certificate given by the police, citing moral turpitude based on his kidnapping charges. The Bombay high court upheld this and the present appeal is directed against this verdict.

A confidential report furnished before the court in March this year said that except for the criminal case under reference, in which he was acquitted, he has a clean record and there is no adverse material against him to deny the fruits of his academic labour in a competitive selection for the post of a judicial officer.

The bench was of the view that an alleged single misadventure or misdemeanour of the present nature, if it can be considered to be so, cannot be sufficient to deny him the appointment when he has found to be fit on all other aspects and parameters.  

The bench, therefore, directed the authorities to consider the appellant’s candidature afresh, preferably within a period of eight weeks. The court also made it clear that the appellant would not be entitled to any other reliefs, if his appointment were allowed.

Tags: supreme court, criminal case