HC sets aside single judge order on jail warden posting
Kaushik Kannan | TNN | Dec 14, 2019, 04:33 IST
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Madurai: Setting aside the order of a single judge, Madras high court has directed the appointment authority to consider the candidature of a person who participated in jallikattu protests by taking into account his contention that he was not aware that a case was registered against him.
The court passed the order based on a recent judgment of the first bench of the principal seat which granted liberty to the appointing authority to assess the candidature of such people.
Ragul Prasath was one of the candidates who took part in the recruitment process conducted by Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board for the post of grade II police constables/grade II jail warden/fireman in 2017.
Though he was successful in the selection process, he was denied appointment citing that he had suppressed the fact that a criminal case was pending against him. Ragul moved the HC Madurai bench in 2017 seeking to quash the order rejecting his appointment.
The single judge who heard the plea said that the only allegation against Ragul was that he took part in the jallikattu protest
and a case was registered against him at Vadipatti police station in Madurai district in 2016.
The judge further said that thousands of people took part in the protest due to which Ragul’s case deserves to be viewed with sympathy. Taking cognizance of the fact that Ragul was not aware of his implication in a criminal case, the judge directed to issue appointment orders to Ragul in January last year. The state government filed an appeal seeking to set aside the single judge order.
A division bench of Justice T S Sivagnanam and Justice R Tharani observed that it was the case of Ragul that when he filed the application he was not involved in a criminal case and hence the question of non-disclosure will not arise. It was submitted that Ragul had no knowledge that a criminal case has been registered against him and he was neither arrested nor remanded in any custody.
The judges referred to last month’s decision of the first bench of the principal seat in the case of ‘C Surendhar Vs Director General of Police’ taking note of earlier court decisions and granting liberty to the appointing authority to assess the candidature of people against whom criminal cases are pending.
The judges observed that the above direction would be appropriate in this appeal too. “We leave it open to the appointment authority to take note of the candidate’s submission and assess his candidature within two months,” the bench said while partially allowing the government’s appeal.