Supreme Court Emphasizes Discretionary Approach: Non-Disclosure of Criminal Antecedents in Recruitment Not Invariably Fatal

In a recent ruling by the Supreme Court in the matter of ‘Ravindra Kumar Vs. State of U.P. & Ors.’, the issue of a candidate’s disqualification from the recruitment process for the post of Constable, due to the submission of a false affidavit and failure to disclose a prior criminal case resulting in acquittal, was deliberated upon. The Court emphasised that the decision to cancel selection in such cases should not be mechanical but must consider all relevant aspects.


Background of the Case:

The appellant challenged his disqualification from the recruitment process after his selection for the post of Constable was cancelled due to the non-disclosure of a criminal case against him. The appellant was required to furnish an affidavit during the selection process, explicitly stating that any concealment of facts would lead to cancellation of selection. Despite this, he failed to disclose the criminal case and subsequent acquittal.


Judicial Proceedings:

Initially, the Allahabad High Court upheld the cancellation, stating that the appellant had suppressed material information. The Division Bench concurred, highlighting the importance of honesty in such applications.

On appeal to the Supreme Court, the appellant argued that he did not willfully conceal information and believed disclosure unnecessary post-acquittal. The State contended that the appellant provided false information, citing relevant case law.


Supreme Court’s Decision:

The Supreme Court observed that at the time of application, no criminal case was pending against the appellant. The acquittal occurred after the application, which was not challenged. The Court stressed the need for objective consideration and non-arbitrary actions in such cases.

Referring to precedent, the Court emphasized that while suppression of material information doesn’t grant an unfettered right to appointment, it does necessitate fair treatment. It outlined various factors, including the nature of the office, timing of the criminal case, and socio-economic background, to be considered in such cases.

Citing previous judgments, the Court noted the discrepancy between the cancellation order and the character verification report, which certified the appellant’s good character. It criticised the mechanical approach of the Appointing Authority and directed the appellant’s appointment, granting him notional benefits.



The Supreme Court’s ruling underscores the importance of fair and thorough consideration in cases of candidate disqualification. It highlights the need for objective assessment, taking into account various factors before reaching a decision. The judgment serves as a reminder of the principles of fairness and justice in recruitment processes.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The content may not reflect the most current legal developments and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Readers should consult a qualified legal professional before taking any action based on the information provided. The authors and publishers disclaim any liability for any loss or damage incurred as a result of reliance on this article. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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