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Mere FIR no ground for disqualification from public appointment, says Delhi HC

Mere FIR no ground for disqualification from public appointment, says Delhi HC

New Delhi: Mere registration of FIR is not a ground for disqualification for appointment to a public post, the

Delhi High Court has held while restoring a person's candidature to the post of Sub-Inspector in the Central Reserve Police Force.

The observation by a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Talwant Singh came while reinstating Vineet Kumar Sharma to the post of SI saying his candidature cannot be cancelled only on the ground that an FIR has been lodged against him.

"The proviso to the guideline contained in Ministry of Home Affairs's notification dated February 1, 2012 makes it clear that the mere pendency of an FIR which is still at the stage of investigation, with no charge sheet having been filed and no charges having been framed by the court, will not be a bar to the candidature of an applicant.

"That being the case, the respondents cannot possibly cancel the petitioner's candidature only on the ground that an FIR is still at the stage of investigation, and the matter is pending," the bench said.

The high court sets aside the order issued by CRPF cancelling Sharma's candidature and the subsequent order of the DIG rejecting his representation and affirming his termination.

"The respondents (CRPF) will now issue the consequential orders within four weeks restoring the petitioner as SI in the CRPF with effect from April 18, 2019 with all consequential benefits. However, it will be open to the respondents to clarify in such order that the appointment would be subject to the ultimate decision in FIR that has been registered against the petitioner," the bench said.

According to the plea, a notice was issued on April 22, 2017 by the Staff Selection Commission for recruitment of SIs in the Delhi Police, Central Armed Police Forces etc.

The petitioner applied for the post of SI (General Duty) in the CRPF. He participated in the competitive examination held on July 5, 2017 and was declared successful in the examination.

Sharma also successfully completed the Physical Endurance Test and Physical Standard Test and he was declared qualified on October 21, 2017. He also qualified in the online examination of Paper-II for which results were published on January 29, 2018.

The petitioner successfully completed the medical examination for which the result was declared on April 6, 2018. He was issued a call letter by the SSC on October 5, 2018 and his name appeared in the final list of selected candidates published on October 1, 2018.

Sharma was issued an appointment letter to the post of SI, CRPF on February 12, 2019 and was informed that in case he accepted the offer of appointment he should report to the DIG, Group Centre, CRPF in Pune on or before March 13, 2019.

He joined the training for the post at Pune and submitted the documents and declaration in the prescribed format/attestation form. In this attestation form he specifically mentioned that his wife had lodged FIR against him and his whole family under the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Later, the CRPF Commandant at Pune issued a letter that he could not be appointed in the CRPF on account of the pendency of the above FIR. The petitioner then preferred representations against the said order which were rejected by the DIG (Recruitment).

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