Vs. The Director General of Police and Others  Insc 1071 (12 October 2007)
Sinha & Harjit Singh Bedi
APPEAL NO.4875 OF 2007 [Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 17395 of 2006] [Arising
out of SLP (Civil) No. 17394 of 2006] S.B. SINHA, J:
aggrieved by and dissatisfied with judgments and orders dated 21.01.2004 and
27.04.2006 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Madras in Writ Petition No. 13357 of 2002
and R.A. No. 68 of 2005 respectively, is before us.
Pursuant to or in furtherance of an advertisement dated 29.12.1999 having been
issued in that behalf, the appellant filed an application for appointment to
the post of Fireman on 05.01.2000. He was provisionally selected whereafter he
submitted a verification roll, the relevant part whereof reads as under:
realize that if I am enlisted and my statement which has been made by me is
found to be false, I shall render myself liable to be dismissed for obtaining
service under false pretences.
Have you ever been concerned in any criminal case as accused? No
Have you ever been arrested or convicted and sentenced to undergo imprisonment
or pay a fine in any criminal or other offence? If so, No give details with
C.C. No. and Court.
Are there any civil or criminal cases pending against you? If so, details.
now stands admitted that he, however, was involved in an incident which
occurred on 15.04.2000, and was proceeded against under Section 294(b) of the
Indian Penal Code. He was arrested but was released on bail.
however, was acquitted of the said charge on 25.09.2000. Inter alia on the
premise that he had made false statement in his verification roll, in regard to
the pendency of the aforementioned case, he was not selected.
filed an original application before the Tamil Nadu Administrative Tribunal.
The learned Tribunal by reason of a judgment and order dated 4.03.2002 opined
that as he had been acquitted in the criminal case, there did not exist any
reason as to why he should be denied an appointment to the post of Fireman. A
writ petition preferred thereagainst by the respondent herein was allowed by
reason of the impugned judgment.
V. Prabhakar, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant, in support
of this appeal, raised a short question, viz., having regard to the fact that
the appellant signed the application prior to the date when the alleged
accident took place and also stood acquitted when he filled up the verification
roll, he cannot be said to have wilfully suppressed any material fact
warranting denial from appointment in service.
learned counsel would contend that in a case of this nature, the High Court
ought to have taken a sympathetic view and should not have allowed the writ
petition of the respondent only on the ground that he had suppressed the factum
of his involvement in a criminal case.
R. Venkatramani, learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent,
on the other hand, would submit that bona fide or otherwise on the part of the
appellant cannot be a criteria for determining the issue.
learned counsel submitted that had the relevant fact, viz., involvement in a
criminal case and that too a cognizable offence under Section 294(b) of the
Indian Penal Code, been disclosed, the appointing authority could have verified
his character and suitability for appointment. It was pointed out that the
persons similarly situated against whom criminal cases had been instituted had
not been selected.
learned counsel furthermore submitted that in view of the fact that the
appellant knew that he would be liable to be dismissed in service if the
statement made in the verification roll was found to be false cannot now be
heard to say that he omitted to mention the pendency of the criminal case under
a bona fide belief or otherwise.
Indisputably, Appellant intended to obtain appointment in a uniformed service.
The standard expected of a person intended to serve in such a service is
different from the one of a person who intended to serve other services.
Application for appointment and the verification roll were both in Hindi as
also in English. He, therefore, knew and understood the implication of his
statement or omission to disclose a vital information.
fact that in the event such a disclosure had been made, the authority could
have verified his character as also suitability of the appointment is not in
dispute. It is also not in dispute that the persons who had not made such
disclosures and were, thus, similarly situated had not been appointed.
The question came up for consideration before this Court in Delhi
Administration through its Chief Secretary and Others v. Sushil Kumar [(1996)
11 SCC 605] wherein it was categorically held:
Tribunal in the impugned order allowed the application on the ground that since
the respondent had been discharged and/or acquitted of the offence punishable
under Section 304 IPC, under Section 324 read with Section 34 IPC and under
Section 324 IPC, he cannot be denied the right of appointment to the post under
question is whether the view taken by the Tribunal is correct in law? It is
seen that verification of the character and antecedents is one of the important
criteria to test whether the selected candidate is suitable to a post under the
State. Though he was found physically fit, passed the written test and
interview and was provisionally selected, on account of his antecedent record,
the appointing authority found it not desirable to appoint a person of such
record as a Constable to the disciplined force. The view taken by the
appointing authority in the background of the case cannot be said to be
Mr. Prabhakar has relied upon a decision of this Court in T.S. Vasudavan Nair
v. Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and Others [1988 Supp SCC 795]. The
said decision has been rendered, as would be evident from the judgment itself,
on special facts and circumstances of the said case and cannot be treated to be
a binding precedent.
the instant case, indisputably, the appellant had suppressed a material fact.
In a case of this nature, we are of the opinion that question of exercising an
equitable jurisdiction in his favour would not arise.
For the reasons aforementioned, there is no merit in these appeals which are
dismissed accordingly. However, in the facts and circumstances of this case,
there shall be no order as to costs.