A person cannot automatically disqualified from being considered for recruitment in the state police force only because an offence has been registered against him, ruled the Bombay High Court.
A division bench of Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice Vasanti Naik made the ruling on Tuesday after hearing a petition filed by Mahadeo Pund (27) of Washim district.
Pund moved the court after Commandant Indian Reserve Battalion-2 of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), Gondia, disqualified him for appointment in its armed constabulary wing because an offence had been registered against him.
In accordance with a clause in the application form, Pund himself had disclosed that a case has been registered against him under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with armed weapon), 149 (being part of an unlawful assembly), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapon), 504 (intentional insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
His counsel P.N. Ghuge contended that there was no rule in the Bombay SRPF Rules that automatically disqualified a person from being considered for recruitment in armed constabulary wing merely because an offence was pending against him.
Ghuge argued that even conviction in a criminal case could not disqualify a person for being considered for recruitment under the rules. He pointed out that only those convicts, whose acts involved “moral turpitude”, could be disqualified for the recruitment.
The judges set aside the orders disqualifying Pund in view of the provision in the Bombay SRPF Rules and directed the Commandant to consider Pund’s candidature afresh for appointment.