‘Tattoo not hurdle, allow man to appear for the interview’: HC tells armed forces
The Bombay high court (HC) recently came to the aid of an applicant after he was rejected by the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) as he had a tattoo on his right hand.
A division bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre said the authorities should make an exception in favour of the applicant, as the tattoo did not create an obstacle in discharge of his official duties. The bench directed the CAPF to allow the applicant to participate in the interview on June 24, as the sleeves would cover the tattoo while saluting.
In March, the applicant who wanted to interview for the post of assistant commandant in the CAPF was deemed medically unfit.
The bench, while hearing the petition filed by the applicant, was informed that the applicant had cleared his written exam and physical efficiency test. In March, he had undergone a medical examination and the CAPF’s medical board had rejected him as he was overweight and had a tattoo on his right arm.
The applicant then lost weight and also underwent a laser treatment which helped remove 90% of the tattoo.
But when he applied for a review of the medical report, it was rejected again, owing to the tattoo. He then approached the high court.
The CAPF told court that according to the rules, tattoos were allowed on the left arm, and not right. They cited the rules which read, “Tattoos marked on traditional sites of the body like inner aspect of forearm, but only left forearm, being non-saluting limb or dorsum of the hands are to be allowed.”
They said as the applicant had a tattoo on his right arm, his application had been rejected.
But the bench said, “The placement of the tattoo is such that it is not apparently visible and we do not think how it would come within the prescribed portion, as it is on the right arm and would be easily concealed in sleeves of the uniform.”
It also referred to a previous judgement from 2018, when the HC had directed the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to admit a man after he had been rejected for the job of a constable-cum-driver, as he had a tattoo on his forearm.
The bench had said, “The tattoo would not interfere with the petitioner’s official duties, and as he had met all other eligibility criteria, the CISF authorities must make an exception to their rules for him.”
In light of these observations, the bench directed CAPF to allow the applicant to participate in the interview process, but said the outcome of the interview would be subject to the final order in the case. It also directed CAPF to file a reply and posted the matter for further hearing on July 4.