The Allahabad High Court upheld the cancellation of the candidature of a candidate for deliberate concealment of fact regarding pending criminal case against him.

The Bench comprising Justice Salil Kumar Rai and Justice Surendra Singh-I observed, “the respondent no.2 appointing authority after following procedure provided in the paragraph no.6 of the aforesaid guidelines after giving the appellant opportunity to explain false statement regarding pendency of criminal case in his application for appointment has rightly cancelled the candidature of the appellant”.

Advocate Shyam Dhar Gupta appeared for the Appellant and Advocate Ashish Mishra appeared for the Respondent.

As per the judgment and order, a special appeal was filed challenging the rejection of a writ petition by the Single Judge of the Court. The writ petition sought to quash the order by the District Judge, leading to the rejection of the petitioner's candidature for a Class-IV post in the District Court.

In the original writ petition, the petitioner requested the quashing of the administrative order and the appointment to the post of Orderly/Peon/Office Peon/Farrash (Group ‘D’) under Advertisement No. 01/Sub.Court/Category D/2022 issued by the High Court of Allahabad.

Having applied for the position based on an advertisement released by the High Court, but inadvertently failed to disclose a criminal case during the application process. Despite qualifying in the selection rounds, the candidature was cancelled by the District Judge, citing non-disclosure of criminal cases as per the guidelines from the High Court. This special appeal challenged the rejection of the writ petition and the subsequent cancellation of the petitioner's candidature.

Upon reviewing the records, the Court noted that the High Court had issued an advertisement for the appointment to the Class-IV post of Orderly/Peon/Office Peon/Farrash. The appellant, in his application form, responded negatively to the question 'whether any criminal/complaint case has ever been registered against you?'. Subsequently, the appellant participated in two rounds of the selection process, qualifying for the Class-IV post.

The Court observed that Respondent No.2 requested the appellant to fulfil formalities for the post, including submitting an affidavit confirming the absence of any pending criminal case. The appellant disclosed the pendency of Case Crime under Sections 307, 323, 504, 506 & 325 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The appellant acknowledged the initial incorrect response in his online application and asserted that the correction period had lapsed.

The Bench noted that the appellant's deliberate false information about the non-pendency of a criminal case was deemed a serious violation. The appointing authority, Respondent No.2, acted in accordance with the guidelines, dismissing the appellant's plea that his case should be considered under different paragraphs of the legal precedent. The cancellation of the appellant's candidature is upheld as justified.

The Court held that the appointing authority, respondent no. 2, adhered to the procedure outlined in the guidelines. Following due process, the appellant was given an opportunity to explain the false statement he made regarding the pendency of a criminal case in his application for appointment. Subsequently, the appointing authority rightly cancelled the appellant's candidature.

Upon reviewing the facts, the Bench observed that the appellant provided false information regarding the ongoing criminal case in his application form. He failed to make the necessary corrections within the specified time mentioned in the advertisement and did not disclose the details of the pending criminal case until the declaration of the result. The first disclosure regarding the pending criminal case was made when directed by respondent no. 2, requiring an undertaking by an affidavit.

Additionally, the Bench noted that the appellant's claim that he had no knowledge of the online form-filling process and that the person assisting him in filling the form inadvertently made an error regarding the non-pendency of a criminal case cannot be accepted. The appellant's conduct, along with the fact that he possessed computer knowledge and had completed a C-grade course in computers in June 2017 before submitting the online application, further contradicts his explanation.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Appeal.

Cause Title: Chandrajeet Kumar Gond v High Court Of Judicature At Allahabad And Another (2024:AHC:12210-DB)

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