HC rules against inducting persons with tainted past into police service

In a landmark judgement, High Court today categorically stated that a person with tainted past should not be allowed to enter police services.

High Court said 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.  A person having criminal antecedents will not fit in this category. Even if he is acquitted or discharged, it cannot be presumed that he was completely exonerated. Persons who are likely to erode the credibility of the police ought not to enter the police force.

This landmark judgment has been passed by Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar in a petition filed by Ghulam Mohammed Shah seeking quashment of his dismissal order passed vide Government Order No. Misc. ISA/120-193 dated 18.03.1993 and for directing the respondents to re-instate the petitioner in service with consequential benefits.

The brief facts of the case are that the petitioner was appointed as Constable in the Police Department and served in DPL Baramulla up to 1987. He was transferred to District Pulwama on 13.02.1987 and was posted at Police Station Shopian. In March, 1989 the petitioner was transferred to Police Station Awantipora and during this period the petitioner was motivated by the anti-national elements to join the militant ranks which he did and he ex-filtrated to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) for obtaining training in handling weapons etc for carrying out subversive activities.

After receiving training to handle sophisticated weapons the petitioner returned to the Valley and managed to join his duties again. On 02.09.1992 the petitioner was transferred to Ladakh as the department received adverse reports against him. The petitioner did not join at Ladakh and went underground. His conduct and activities being prejudicial to the security of the State, he was dismissed from service by order dated 18.03.1993.

The said order of dismissal is challenged by the petitioner in the year 2001 by contending that he could not challenge the order as he was under detention from 15.03.1993 and was released in the year 2001. He was kept in detention based on registering of number of FIRs and finally he was booked under the Public Safety Act vide detention Order No. PSA/DMB/98/46 dated 16.04.1998. The said detention order though was challenged by filing HCP No. 296/1998, the same was not quashed.

During the pendency of the HCP, the detention period got expired, hence the petitioner/detenue was released and the HCP became infructuous.  The said fact is mentioned in the order of this Court dated 05.04.1999 passed in HCP No. 296/1998. According to the petitioner, even thereafter he was put under detention in Hari-Niwas Srinagar for more than one and a half year and after his release he approached the respondents for joining the duties and at that time he was informed that he was dismissed from the service.

According to the petitioner, he approached the Director General of Police and other authorities and prayed for supplying him a copy of the dismissal order and it is the contention of the petitioner that the copy of dismissal was received by him in September, 2001 and the same was challenged in the year 2001.

Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar observed that Keeping a person with doubtful integrity or having connections with militants in police force will have disastrous consequences. The respondents having lost confidence on the petitioner, having regard to credible materials, thought fit to dismiss the petitioner from police force by recording satisfaction. The said satisfaction recorded cannot be held erroneous to come to a different conclusion and apart from the above reason, the petitioner has challenged the order of dismissal dated 18.03.1993 only in the year 2001.

Though delay is attempted to be explained in the affidavit, the whereabouts of the petitioner from 1993 to 2001 is not at all explained by the petitioner. On the contrary during that period petitioner remained underground, joined militant group, was involved in subversive activities and was also detained under the Public Safety Act. The said facts have not been disputed and are established, therefore, no case is made out by the petitioner to challenge the order dated 18.03.1993 in the year 2001. With these observations dismissed the petition.

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