The Supreme Court in its order dated December 02, 2022 clarified that appointment of a candidate – who is charged under Section 498-A IPC – cannot be rejected on the ground that he was tried for the offence.
The top court noted that the criminal case against the candidate had resulted in his acquittal, post which his matrimonial case was settled out of court.
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In the year 2013, Pramod Singh Kirar had applied for the post of Constable. He was very much eligible to be appointed as Constable.
During the verification process, he himself declared that he was tried for the offence under Section 498-A IPC during matrimonial dispute, but was later acquitted in the said case.
Despite this voluntary disclosure, in February 2014, Kirar’s candidature was rejected on the ground that he was involved in this criminal case. The appellant filed the writ petition before the High Court.
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Madhya Pradesh High Court
When Kirar approached the Madhya Pradesh High Court (Division Bench), they too upheld this rejection observing that if the candidate is found to be involved in a criminal case, even in a case of acquittal and/or even in a case where the employee has made declaration truthfully of a concluded criminal case the employer still has the right to consider antecedents, it cannot be compelled to appoint the candidate.
Subsequently, the applicant appealed in Supreme Court.
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Arguments by Appellant
S.K. Gangele, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the appellant submitted that the Division Bench of the High Court has materially erred in allowing the appeal and quashing and setting aside the well-reasoned judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge. It was also submitted that the High Court ought to have appreciated the fact that the case against the appellant was not for the serious offence but was for the offence under Section 498A of IPC, which was out of a matrimonial dispute.
The appellant also argued that the High Court has not appreciated and considered the fact that the case for the offence under Section 498A of IPC resulted in acquittal in the year 2006 in view of the settlement between husband and wife, while the applications for the post of Constable were invited in the year 2013-14.
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The bench ofJustices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar noted that the offence for which he was tried ultimately resulted into acquittal had arisen out of the matrimonial dispute which ultimately ended in settlement out of the court. It was further noticed that there was no suppression of material fact in this case. The bench remarked,
Under the circumstances and in the peculiar facts of the case, the appellant could not have been denied the appointment solely on the aforesaid ground that he was tried for the offence under Section 498A of IPC and that too, for the offence alleged to have happened in the year 2001 for which he was even acquitted in the year 2006 may be on settlement (between husband and wife).
He applied for the post of Constable in the year 2013-2014.
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Adding further, the apex court said,
In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the Division Bench of the High Court has materially erred in denying the appointment to the appellant on the post of Constable and has materially erred in quashing and setting aside the judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge.
The court therefore directed his appointment to post of constable within a period of four weeks.
READ ORDER | Appointment Can't Be Denied Because Candidate Was Tried U/s #498A IPC & Later Acquitted: Supreme Court— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) December 5, 2022
▪️2001: Husband charged u/s 498A
▪️2006: Acquitted after out of court settlement
▪️2013: Applies for post of constable; gets rejectedhttps://t.co/KuFTGbvdNO
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