Criminal Case and Government Jobs
Government jobs are preferred in India due to the perks and respect the position may bring. There are countless applicants who prepare to clear the entrance exam meant for the said creamy-layer jobs. For a government job, a background check is an important aspect. Having a case registered might have some negative effects on the application. In this article, we will be talking about the effect of the criminal case on government Jobs. The process of getting a government job for a person with a criminal record is very difficult.
The background verification process also may include a request of record from the District Magistrates/ police. The screening and verification process requires the consent of the candidate because privacy is a fundamental right.
There are two kinds of charges which can be filed against a person: Civil and Criminal. Civil charges do not affect the position in government jobs.
PAST CRIMINAL CASE
In the case of State of West Bengal and Ors v. Nazrul Islam, the apex court held that any person convicted or facing charges for a criminal offence, will not be considered an apt candidate for governmental appointments. In this case, for the recruitment of constable, the petitioner was selected and during verification, it was known to recruiters of the case where charge sheet had already been filed in the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Uluberia. Moreover, the petitioner had pleaded guilty and was granted bail. Aggrieved by the decision of the Administrative tribunal, an appeal was preferred in Calcutta high court which decided that the appointment cannot be terminated; and the final outcome will depend upon the outcome of the case
PENDING CRIMINAL CHARGES: SUSPENSION FROM SERVICE
As per the law, if any government employee spends more than 48 hours in police custody, he is suspended. If the charges are for a dowry/ death case, the person is dismissed; even if there was no time spent in police custody.
If this fact is kept as a secret from the superiors, notwithstanding the provision of double jeopardy, the person will face separate disciplinary proceedings for the same. Mere registration of an FIR will not affect the job prospect. To have any effect, the proceeding should have started in court or the person must have been convicted of the offense.
Formation of Charges within three months: In the case of Ajay Kumar Choudhary v Union of India through its Secretary and Anr. It was held that framing of charges and formally informing of charges is an important step. If this step was not taken immediately firstly it will affect the right of a speedy trial and secondly, the suspension of the employee gets extended. The ruling of the Supreme Court say, a government employee cannot be suspended for more than three months; if he is not formally informed of the charges framed against him.
CORRECTNESS: Right for fair hearing is both a natural and inherent right of every person, how do we justify the act of suspension of the government employee without even a formal communication. Every person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, so when charges are not even proven, the right of the arrested employee is certainly violated.
NON DISCLOSURE WITH RESPECT TO CHARGES
A person can be considered for the position, if either he has been acquitted of all the charges by the court. To summarize, the applicant should have no criminal charges pending against him. The court also pointed out that the acquittal of criminal charges should be on merits; and not a result of a compromise between the petitioner and respondent or of witnesses turning hostile.
In the case of Avtar Singh v. Union of India and others, the petitioner was involved in any criminal case due to which his appointment in CRPF was canceled and service was terminated. An FIR was lodged under various sections of IPC. The Supreme Court gave the ruling that an employer can act against someone who discloses incorrect or misleading information. The court issued guidelines for the same, they are-
- The information about any charges (Conviction, arrest, or acquittal) must be provided correctly to the employer; and no fact should be suppressed or falsely represented.
- Even if the employee has declared all the pending charges, the employer is not bound to recruit the person.
- In case of multiple criminal cases and intentional suppression of the charges, the employer may cancel the appointment. The employer can also suspend the employee from the service or take a decision as it may deem fit.
A landmark judgment in the case of State of Jharkhand v. Jitendra Kumar Srivastava and others. was delivered by the Apex Court, with respect to the withholding of pension during the pending departmental inquiry/criminal proceedings. The apex court held that retirement benefits cannot be withheld during the pendency of any proceeding. The respondent was working with the animal husbandry department and 10 % of his pension was withheld. The High Court ruled in favour of the respondent and directed the department to release the pension amount.
A criminal charge against a person applying for a government job or serving in a government job can be unfavorable. Candidature can be canceled, and a person can be suspended if the employer has knowledge of any criminal case. It is the duty of the employer to run a background check and verify. However, it is the responsibility of the candidate to reveal the truth.
 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8638 OF 2011
 SLP No. 31761 of 2013
 (2016) 8 SCC 471
 C.A. No. 6770 /2013