Chennai: The Madras high court has reiterated that the police force is a disciplined force and a person who wants to become member of the police force must have impeccable integrity and his criminal antecedents shall be a matter for consideration of the recruiting agency or employer.
Justice R.Suresh Kumar was passing orders on a batch of petitions from 46 persons, whose candidature for appointment to the post of Gr.II Police Constable, Grade II Jail Warden or Fireman for the year 2017 was rejected by the authorities concerned.
The judge said the cases where there has been a complete suppression both at the application and at the time of verification with regard to the involvement of the criminal case, this court is not inclined to show any indulgence and those cases deserve to be rejected out rightly. Cases where the candidate involved in a criminal case and subsequently been acquitted not honourably but based on the benefit of doubt, even in that case also, in view of explanations to clause (iv) of Rule 14 (b) of the Tamil Nadu Special Police Subordinate Service Rules, he become ineligible to be considered for appointment, the judge added and dismissed 17 petitions.
The judge said cases of the nature 1) where at the time of application, they did not reveal the involvement but subsequently revealed at the time of verification, 2) the cases where it cannot be easily ascertained whether the acquittal has been given by the trial court concerned on the basis of benefit of doubt or by way of complete exoneration, 3) cases where there has been a discharge or the names of the candidate have subsequently been deleted in the FIR and 4) the cases where it ended in acquittal because of compromise between the parties, whether the very same yardstick as has been mentioned in the first two categories by invoking explanations 1 and 2 of Rule 14 (b), can be adopted with the same vigor, was the only question. These four category of cases, though may not be equated with the first two categories, the recruiting agency/employer or screening committee cannot be expected to give a green signal to those four categories and clear the names, but at the same time, the employer/screening committee can certainly apply the various yardsticks given by the apex court in the judgments and a pragmatic decision can be taken, the judge added.
The judge said in those borderline cases, which cannot be undoubtedly equated with first two category, i.e., total suppression and definitely acquittal on benefit of doubt, these category of cases can be treated differently where enormous discretion was vested with the employer/screening committee to take a decision ultimately whether if appointment was given to these kind of candidates, will they spoil the disciplined force by taking into account their criminal antecedents, despite the fact that, in all those cases, they have been acquitted, of course, on reasons like compromise, removal of name in the FIR or other reasons, the judge added.
Allowing 14 petitions and directing the authorities concerned to consider the candidature of those petitioners for selection and appointment to the post, the judge partly allowed another 15 petitions and remanded the matter back to authorities to decide the same once again....