The Supreme Court on Wednesday said in an important decision that criminal behavior cannot be condoned on the ground of being youth and of rural background. The top court, while accepting the petition of the Delhi Police Commissioner, set aside the order of the Delhi High Court and CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal) asking them to consider giving appointment to some applicants despite having criminal charges. The case pertains to the 2009 Delhi Police constable recruitment, in which four applicants were denied appointment due to criminal cases against them and their case was referred to the Screening Committee.
Youth and rural background not grounds for condonation of criminal behavior
The decision of the Screening Committee was also against him. CAT and the High Court, while accepting the petition of the applicants, quashed the order of the Screening Committee, against which the Delhi Police Commissioner had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. A bench of Justices KM Joseph and S Ravindra Bhat, while allowing the appeal of Delhi Police, observed that the court cannot give its opinion about the suitability of an applicant for a government post during judicial review. It is not valid to conduct a thorough inquiry by the Court as to why the applicant was not included in the case even if there is no evidence of malicious or thoughtless or unlawful act on the part of the Government employer.
The top court said that this judgment casts doubt on the jurisdiction of the executive to appoint a person by the court. In this regard, the court has also referred to an earlier judgment of MV Thimmaiah Vs UPSC. The top court said that government service is like any other service, in which the employer has the right to decide who he will take in the service. The principles of its eligibility standard are fixed. Judicial review ensures that these standards are fair and non-discriminatory and that they are followed fairly and without discrimination.
While the suitability of the applicant is a completely different matter, the choice of the government employer comes first as long as the process is not illegal or biased. The Supreme Court said that the High Court order appears to indicate the youth of the applicants and the general acceptability of their minor offences. According to the order of the High Court, a broad view is presented that in view of their youth, age and rural background, such petty abuses should not be taken seriously.
Supreme Court quashes the decision of CAT and High Court in Delhi constable recruitment case
The Supreme Court said that it is of the view that pardoning should not be reflected in judicial decisions and should be avoided while normalizing the behavior of the perpetrators of crime. The court said that certain types of offenses such as molesting or coercive entry of women or assault, assault, hurt, caste based or nobility based behavior can also be there in rural background. The concerned Government Employer should investigate each and every matter through its officers during recruitment. Especially in recruitment in the police force, whose responsibility is to maintain law and order and prevent legal lapses, so that people’s confidence is instilled.