Case Law Details

Case Name : State Of West Bengal & Ors. Vs. Nazrul Islam (Supreme Court of India)
Appeal Number : Civil Appeal No. 8638 of 2011
Date of Judgement/Order : 13/10/2011
Related Assessment Year :

State Of West Bengal & Ors. Vs. Nazrul Islam (Supreme Court of India)- A person facing criminal cases cannot be considered suitable for appointment in government service unless acquitted of the charges, the Supreme Court has held. Quashing the appointment of constable SK Nazrul Islam, the apex court said, “Surely, the authorities entrusted with the responsibility of appointing constables were under duty to verify the antecedents of a candidate to find out whether he is suitable for the post of constable.”

“And so long as the candidate has not been acquitted in the criminal case of the charges he cannot possibly be held to be suitable for appointment to the post of constable.”

A bench of justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik passed the judgement while upholding the West Bengal government’s appeal challenging the high court’s direction to appoint Islam despite the fact that he was facing criminal charges.

Islam who was provisionally recruited in 2007 but during verification, it came to light that he was on bail and facing criminal charges under several IPC sections. The government soon terminated his appointment.

He then approached the Administrative Tribunal which dismissed his plea, following which he appealed in the high court. The court, however, directed his appointment subject to the final outcome of the criminal trial pending against him. The state appealed in the apex court.

Upholding the appeal, the bench said, “We fail to appreciate how when a criminal case under IPC sections 148, 323, 380, 427 against the respondent was pending in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Uluberia, Howrah, any mandamus could have been issued by the high court to the authorities to appoint the respondent as a constable.”

Accordingly it quashed the high court order.

Re-portable

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8638 OF 2011

(Arising out of S.L.P. (C) NO. 5449 OF 2011)

The State of West Bengal and Others      … Appellants

Vs

Sk. Nazrul Islam ……………….Respondent

A. K. PATNAIK, J.

Leave granted.

2. This is an appeal against the order dated 14.09.20 10 of the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court in W.P.S.T. No. 1911 of 2008.
3. The facts very briefly are that on 26.07.2007 the Police Directorate of West Bengal notified recruitment of Constables in the West Bengal Police from Howrah District. The name of the respondent was sponsored by the Employment Exchange, Uluberia, Howrah, for recruitment as Constable and on 17.09.2007 the provisional select list was notified in which the respondent’s name found place at serial no.76. The respondent appeared before the Medical Board and was found medically fit. On 28.09.2007, the respondent was supplied a Verification Roll for verification of his antecedents and the respondent filled the Verification Roll and submitted the same to the Reserve Officer, Howrah, on 29.09.2007. The Verification Roll of the respondent was sent to the District Intelligence Branch, Howrah, on 08.10.2007. In the course of enquiry, it came to light that he was involved in a criminal case involving offences under Sections 148/323/380/427/596, IPC, in Bagnan PS Case No.97 of 2007 and after investigation, the charge-sheet had already been filed in the Court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Uluberia, Howrah, and that the respondent had surrendered before the Court and had been granted bail. All these facts, however, had been concealed in column no.13 of the Verification Roll submitted by the respondent in which he was required to state whether he was ever arrested, detained or convicted. The authorities, therefore, did not appoint the respondent as a Constable.

4. Aggrieved, the respondent filed O.A.No.2500 of 2008 before the West Bengal Administrative Tribunal for a direction upon the authorities to issue appointment letter in his favour, but by order dated 25.07.2008 the Tribunal declined to grant any relief to the respondent. The order of the Tribunal was challenged by the respondent before the High Court and in the impugned order, the High Court held that the authorities were not entitled to withhold the offer of appointment to the  respondent and directed the authorities to issue   the letter of appointment in favour of the respondent without any further delay. The High Court, however, observed in the impugned order that the appointment of the respondent to the post of Constable will abide by the final decision of the pending criminal case.

5. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and we fail to appreciate how when a criminal case under Sections 148/323/380/427/596, IPC, against the respondent was pending in the Court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Uluberia, Howrah, any mandamus could have been issued by the High Court to the authorities to appoint the respondent as a Constable. Surely, the authorities entrusted with the responsibility of appointing constables were under duty to verify the antecedents of a candidate to find out whether he is suitable for the post of constable and so long as the candidate has not been acquitted in the criminal case of the charges under Sections 148/323/380/427/596, IPC, he cannot possibly be held to be suitable for appointment to the post of Constable.6. We, therefore, allow the appeal, set aside the impugned order of the High Court and dismiss the Writ Petition under Articles 226/ 227 of the Constitution filed by the respondent in the High Court. There shall be no order as to costs.

October 13, 2011.

NF

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0 Comments

  1. amit kumar says:

    there should be appeal against order of supreme court to another bench,as we know in our country some times persons got involved in false cases by political persons

  2. Duke Sekhon says:

    In the first place, the candidature of a person for recruitment into police against whom an FIR is registered ought to be rejected outright. It certainly doesn’t serve the public cause well if the authorities are going to recruit in police forces shady characters whose job would be to book law breakers. Don’t tell us that in a country of a billion and quarter people there is such inhuman dearth of decent souls that the authorities have to make do with admitting criminals in our police forces? It beats a layman’s comprehension how a policeman against whom a criminal case was pending at the time of his recruitment be allowed to continue in service till finally convicted after exhausting all avenues of legal appeal — which may take a lifetime, knowing how are legal system works. The scale of justice should evenly weigh without tilting in favour or against an accused. One feels sorry to note that in our country it pays to be a criminal and safe enough to be one at the cost of law abiding citizens. One is glad to learn that the SC corrected the glaring deficiency in application of mind by the High Court judge.

  3. R Kalyanasundaram says:

    Will this SC decision enable keeping away candidates with criminal records (pending decisions of the concerned courts) from contesting elections …???

    Will it not be desirable for the EC to ensure its implementation with immediate effect…?

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