The Delhi High Court has ruled that though verification of one’s antecedent is vital prior to giving employment, the applicant cannot be deprived of it even if his or her involvement in a minor offence is revealed later.
“Research shows that criminality is bred if a person who commits minor offences is ostracised by society and is denied public employment,” said a bench headed by justice Pradeep Nandrajog.
The ruling came while the bench ordered CRPF to reinstate one Neetu Mishra, dismissed a year after she joined the job, for concealing involvement in a minor offence while filling the employment form.
The 20-year-old had written ‘no’ against the column which queried if she was ever named an accused in a criminal offence.
But police verification revealed that Mishra was involved in a case of causing hurt as per an FIR lodged in Mangolpuri police station and was an accused even on the day she filled the form.
CRPF argued that “past antecedents are very important in matters relating to public employment. If a person suppresses relevant information having a bearing on his or her character, the person concerned would lose the right to public employment”.
Mishra said that she had not committed any deliberate act of concealment and it was only an “unintentional mistake”. “I was so overwhelmed by the fact that I got a job that I did not even bother to read the contents of the form properly,” she told the court.
Citing various precedents, the bench said a person, even if he was major by age, should not be denied public employment for indiscreet acts which did not amount to moral turpitude. “Such a person not rich with the experience of life needs to be treated with compassion,” said the court.
“Those who committed petty offences should be treated differently from those accused of serious crimes,” the judges added.