CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10613 OF 2014

(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.36237 of 2012)




This appeal has been preferred against the Judgment and Order dated 20th March, 2012 of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur in Writ Appeal No.262 of 2010.The question raised for our consideration is whether the refusal by the competent authority to give compassionate appointment in police service on the ground of criminal antecedents of a candidate who is acquitted for want of evidence or who is discharged from the criminal case on account of compounding can be justified. Sultan Khan was serving with the Madhya Pradesh Police. He died in harness on 21st June, 2005. His son, the respondent Parvez Khan, applied for compassionate appointment. The competent authority sent his record for police verification. It was found that he was involved in two criminal cases. In one case, he was prosecuted for offences under Sections 323, 324, 325,294 and 506-B/34 of the Indian Penal Code and in the other under Sections 452, 394 and 395 of the Indian Penal Code. The Superintendent of Police held that he was not eligible for appointment in Government service and closed his case. The respondent challenged the said order by way of Writ Petition No.15052 of 2008 on the ground that in the first case he was acquitted on 31st January, 2007 and in the second he was discharged on account of compounding of offence. Learned Single Judge did not find any merit in his contention in the writ petition and dismissed the petition. On appeal, the Division Bench took a different view. It was held that the object of verification was to verify suitability of a candidate for employment. Since the respondent was acquitted in both the criminal cases he could not be considered unsuitable. No reason had been given as to why after acquittal in the criminal case, the respondent was considered to be unsuitable. Accordingly, the Division Bench directed consideration of case of the respondent afresh in the light of observations in the order within three months. Aggrieved thereby, the appellant-State has preferred this appeal. We have heard learned counsel for the parties. Learned counsel for the State submitted that since on police verification, it was found that the respondent was involved in criminal cases involving moral turpitude, he could not be given appointment. Mere acquittal for want of evidence or discharge on account of compromise could not be taken to be conclusive for suitability of a candidate. The result of criminal proceedings was not conclusive of suitability of a candidate for recruitment to police service. It is submitted that in a criminal case, a person cannot be punished in absence of proof beyond reasonable doubt but the standard of proof required for consideration of suitability or otherwise of a candidate was not the same. Discharge on account of compounding of the offence by the victim depended upon the attitude of the parties. The victim may be prepared to settle the matter for any consideration other than innocence of the accused, but it did not wash off the criminal antecedents of an accused….read more