The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court held that the abraded lesions on the hand and forearm after the removal of a tattoo is not a ground to declare a candidate unfit for service in CAPF i.e., Central Armed Police Force.

The petitioner in this case was declared medically unfit as some tattoo marks were found present on his right and left arms.

A Single Bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar asserted, “… it is evident that the Doctors, who examined the petitioner in the Review Medical Board, have not found any of the conditions laid down in sub-clause (4). Mere abraded lesions on the hand and forearm, which does not have any potentiality to interfere with the working of a Constable GD, cannot be made a ground to declare a candidate unfit for service in CAPF.”

The Bench noted that only abraded lesions over right hand and forearm were found by the examining doctors and that the petitioner was declared unfit without giving any reason as to how abraded lesions are likely to interfere in the performances of duties of Constable GD.

“I am aware that the tattoo beyond the prescribed size on the impermissible areas do render a candidate unfit to be appointed as Constable GD in CAPF, as is evident from the revised Guidelines of 2015. However, I am at a loss to understand as to how mere abraded lesions on the hand or forearm would, in any way, interfere in the performances of duties of a Constable GD”, the Court further noted.

Advocate P.S. Parmar appeared for the petitioner while CGSC Eishan Dadeechi appeared for the respondents.


An advertisement notice was issued by the respondents and the petitioner applied for the post of Constable GD in the Border Security Force (BSF) under the OBC Category and cleared all the examinations. He was, thereafter, called for Medical Examination but during the medical examination, he was declared medically unfit as some tattoo marks were found present on his right and left arms.

After the petitioner was declared medically unfit, he was informed that in case he intends to file an appeal against the finding of the medical examination declaring him medically unfit for the post, he shall have to apply for a review medical examination after obtaining the necessary medical certificate from any Civil Medical practitioner within a period of 15 days. Hence, the petitioner got the tattoos removed and obtained a certificate from a doctor, and then filed an appeal. However, he was again declared unfit on the ground that there were scar marks of size 06 cm on his right upper arm and 02 cm on the dorsal side of his right hand.

The High Court after considering the arguments of both parties observed, “The opinion of the Medical Practitioner, who is a specialist in Dermatology/skin diseases, is that the petitioner is medically fit for the post of a Constable GD. … It is not the case of the respondents, nor is there any expert opinion that the Review Medical Board has detected any congenital or acquired anomalies of the skin which have the effect of interfering with the functions of a Constable GD.”

The Court further said that even keloid formation would be disqualifying if it has the tendency to interfere with the proper wearing of combatised equipment.

The Court, therefore, directed the respondents to convene a revised Medical Board and re-examine the petitioner and if found fit, to perform the duties of a Constable GD and be offered an appointment.

“Let the entire exercise be completed within a period of two months from the date a certified copy of this judgment is served upon them”, the Court further directed.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the petition.

Cause Title- Sunil Kumar v. Union of India and others

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