Allowing a batch of writ petitions filed by candidates who were rejected for the post of police constables because they suppressed facts relating to their involvement in minor criminal cases, the Madras High Court Bench here has said that suppression of facts in minor offences cannot be held as grounds for rejection.

“When the offences cannot be brought under the category of ‘moral turpitude,’ it cannot be advisable to hold that the suppression of those particulars in the application are serious in nature,” Justice R.S. Ramanathan observed and described Sections 323, 324, 506 (i), 506 (ii) and 325 IPC and under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu City Police Act and the Gaming Act as minor offences.

The petitioners, who had moved the court, were juveniles at the time of committing the offence; were named in the FIR but were not mentioned in the charge-sheet; were acquitted from the case in the initial stage on the principle of benefit of doubt and had no cases pending against them during the recruitment. The advocates appearing for the petitioners contended that as per Section 19 of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000, they should not suffer any disqualification. The government advocate argued that under the provisions of Rule 14(b) of Tamil Nadu Special Police Subordinate Service Rules, though a person was acquitted on the principle of benefit of doubt in a criminal case, he would be considered disqualified for the selection to the police force.

Relying on the judgments of the apex court, Justice Ramanathan said that the impugned rejection orders were liable to be set aside.