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.