New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that a person with criminal antecedents should not be allowed to enter the police force, even if he or she is acquitted or discharged.
A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said, “persons who are likely to erode the credibility of the police ought not to enter the police force.”
“Even if he is acquitted or discharged, it cannot be presumed that he was completely exonerated,” the bench said, adding that a person having criminal antecedents will not fit in the category.
“It is clear that a candidate to be recruited to the police service must be worthy of confidence and must be a person of utmost rectitude and must have impeccable character and integrity,” the bench also comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said.
The bench allowed the appeal filed by Madhya Pradesh government against High Court's order asking it to consider the case of one Parvez Khan for appointment in police service within three months on compassionate grounds. Khan had applied for police job on compassionate grounds following the death of his father Sultan Khan, who served in Madhya Pradesh police.
During police verification it was found that Khan was involved in two criminal cases - one pertaining to assault and criminal intimidation, and the other of house trespass and dacoity.
In the first case Khan was acquitted while in the second case he was discharged on account of compounding of offence. The apex court held that, “Even after acquittal, basis of order of the court has to be gone into by competent authority. Even after order based on compromise or lack of evidence may render a candidate ineligible”.
Taking into account the report of Superintendent of Police, who held Khan ineligible for appointment in police force, the bench said in the present case “Superintendent of Police is the appointing authority” and there was “no material to show that Khan was falsely implicated.”
Setting aside the order of division bench of the High Court, the apex court said “refusal by competent authority to recruit the respondent (Khan) on the ground of criminal antecedents is not liable to be interfered with.”