Employee Can Be Terminated for Suppression or False Information Regarding Suitability: Supreme Court

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This appeal is the occurrence of an unsuccessful writ applicant of a writ application the Writ Petition filed in the High Court of Delhi and is directed against the judgment and order dated 15.04.2019 by which a Division Bench of the High court rejected the writ application filed by the writ applicant thereby affirming the dismissal of the appellant herein from service as a Constable (General Duty) with the CRPF.

The bench of justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala observed the employee can be terminated from duty if it comes to the notice that he/she has provided false information about matters of fitness or suitability to the post even in case of suppression of information. Making false statements in any verification form, prosecution, conviction, etc.

Satish Chandra Yadav had a criminal case registered against him for offenses punishable under Sections 147, 323, 324, 504, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. He was working as a constable with CRPF he was soon terminated from his duty after it was noted that he was suppressing the fact about the criminal case. The learned counsel placed strong reliance on the decision of this Court in the case of Avatar Singh v. Union of India, (2016) to strengthen their submission that while passing the order of termination of services for giving false information, the employer must take notice of the special circumstances of the case if any. The court observed that the legal standards established therein controlling the matter are somewhat ambiguous and that even after the bigger Bench ruling in the case of Avtar Singh, other courts have articulated other standards. The court further stated that it should only use its broad discretionary authority under Article 136 in rare circumstances.

The dismissal was upheld by the Delhi High Court the case then moved to the supreme court where the apex court further stated that a candidate would not automatically be appointed to the position following their acquittal in a criminal case; rather, the employer would still have the option to consider the individual's background and determine whether they are qualified to fill the position.

The apex court stated that we think that it was a deliberate attempt on the part of the appellant Satish Chandra Yadav to withhold the relevant information and it is this omission that has led to the termination of his service during the probation period, the bench said while dismissing the appeal.