The Delhi High Court has asked the authorities concerned to frame suitable rules for the rehabilitation of ex-convicts so that they can be allowed to join government jobs and be a part of the mainstream society.
Terming the recruitment policy restraining convicted persons from joining government service as a legacy of the British era, the court said there is need to amend the rules. "It is unfortunate that in India we are not marching ahead in the comity of nations and prefer to be governed by the recruitment processes which are a legacy of the British era, ignoring that the purpose of governance then was to rule and the purpose of governance now is to serve," a bench comprising Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Mool Chand Garg said. It said denying employment to a petty offender is a serious violation of his constitutional right and the state is not justified in shutting its eyes.
"It is unfortunate that in India, the government does not come out with guidelines pertaining to the problems of rehabilitation of ex-convicts, with emphasis on the need for their employment under the government," the bench said. The court passed the order on a petition filed by Delhi government challenging the decision of Central Administrative Tribunal asking it to give employment to a youth, accused of a minor offence, as a sub-inspector in Delhi Police.
Asking the government to come up with suitable guidelines for employment, the court said that in the absence of proper policies from the executive, it has no choice but to step in to protect the interest of citizens. "Till then, it would be the duty of the court to interpret the law by harmonising human sufferings and human wants, delinquencies and criminal tendencies... the rich and the poor, the needy and the well-off, the hungry and the well-fed, the educated and the uneducated," the court said.