Suitability of Candidate II / Honourable Acquittal

Union Territory, Chandigarh Administration v. Pradeep Kumar, (2018) 1 SCC 797 dealt with the expression “honourable acquittal”. It was opined, acquittal in a criminal case was not conclusive for suitability of the candidate concerned and it could not always be inferred from an acquittal or discharge that the person was falsely involved or has no criminal antecedents. It has been specifically noticed, entry into Police Service required a candidate to be of good character, integrity and clean antecedents. It was opined, acquittal in a criminal case does not automatically entitle a candidate for appointment to the post, as a person having criminal antecedents will not fit in this category. The mere fact of an acquittal would not suffice. It would depend on whether it is a clean acquittal based on total absence of evidence or in the criminal jurisprudence requiring the case to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, that parameter having not been met, benefit of doubt has been granted.

Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, State of Rajasthan v. Love Kush Meena, [Civil Appeal No. 3894 of 2020].