Employer Cannot Deny Police Job To A Successful Candidate On Ground Of Juvenile Record Of Conviction: Rajasthan HC
The Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur Bench has observed that an employer is prohibited by law from considering the juvenile record of the conviction of a successful candidate as a ground to deny a police job to him.
The Court was hearing an appeal filed by the State questioning the legality and validity of the order passed by the Single Bench of the High Court whereby the plea of the respondent was accepted with regard to his candidature for the post of Constable.
The Division Bench comprising Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Yogendra Kumar Purohit held, “… in such a situation, the employer is prohibited by law from referring to or taking in consideration the judgment of conviction so as to deprive a successful candidate, who was a child in conflict with law at some point of time from being employed in Government service. The view taken by the learned Single Bench, whereby rejection of the candidature of the respondent by order dated 18.12.2018 was declared to be invalid does not suffer from any infirmity warranting interference.”
The Bench noted that any disqualification entailing from the conviction would have to be ignored and cannot act to the detriment of the child in conflict with the law in any manner, which would include a selection process for public employment.
Senior Advocate-cum-AAG Sandeep Shah and Advocate Nishant Bafna appeared for the appellants while Advocate Praveen Vyas appeared for the respondent.
Brief Facts –
The candidature of the respondent for the post of Constable was rejected on the ground that a criminal case was pending against him which fact came to light during the police verification. The rejection of the candidature was assailed on the ground that the criminal case, which was registered against him, was of the year 2011, at which point of time, he was a juvenile within the meaning of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
The ground that the respondent was not convicted of the offence was also taken into the consideration. The appellants, therefore, contested the writ petition on the ground that the respondent was later on, convicted for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC amongst others, which is a crime of heinous nature and he could not have been considered for appointment on the sensitive post of Police Constable.
In view of the facts and circumstances of the case, the High Court said, “A perusal of the judgment dated 07.02.2019, whereby the Juvenile Justice Board held the respondent guilty, reflects that the case of the prosecution was based purely on circumstantial evidence. Though this court is not called upon to comment on the merits of the criminal case registered against the respondent or the judgment of the Juvenile Justice Board dated 07.02.2019 (Annex.5 to the writ petition), whereby he was held guilty, but still we are compelled to make a brief reference thereto.”
The Court also noted that the allegation against the respondent was incorporated in the prosecution case through sheer improvement.
“… the record of conviction of the child in conflict, cannot be preserved and has to be destroyed”, asserted the Court.
The Court further said that any disqualification entailing the conviction would have to be ignored and cannot act to the detriment of the child in conflict with the law in any manner, which would include a selection process for public employment.
Accordingly, the Court dismissed the appeal.
Cause Title- State of Rajasthan & Ors. v. Bhawani Shankar Moorh (Neutral Citation: 2023/RJJD/002510)