Suitability of Candidate III / Honourable Acquittal II

Sessions Court acquitted Methu Meda from charge of kidnapping for ransom. Methu Meda applied for post of Constable in Central Industrial Security Force and got selected through Staff Selection Commission. A mere disclosure of offences alleged and result of trial is not sufficient. In said situation, appointment cannot be compelled.  

The expression ‘honourable acquittal’ has been considered in Inspector General of Police v. S. Samuthiram, (2013) 1 SCC 598. Union Territory, Chandigarh Administration v. Pradeep Kumar, (2018) 1 SCC 797 relying upon S. Samuthiram said, acquittal in a criminal case is not conclusive of suitability of candidate on post concerned.

Also see, State of Assam v. Raghava Rajgopalachari, (1972) 7 SLR 44; R.P. Kapur v. Union of India, AIR 1964 SC 787 and Avtar Singh v. Union of India, (2016) 8 SCC 471.

Hon’ble Justice J.K. Maheshwari, Union of India v. Methu Meda, [Civil Appeal No. 6238 of 2021].


The expression ‘honourable acquittal’ had also come up for consideration in Management of Reserve Bank of India, New Delhi v. Bhopal Singh Panchal, (1994) 1 SCC 541 and in R.P. Kapur v. Union of India, AIR 1964 SC 787. It was held, inter alia, mere acquittal does not entitle an employee to reinstatement in service. The acquittal has to be ‘honourable’. The expressions ‘honourable acquittal’, ‘acquitted of blame’, ‘fully exonerated’ are unknown to Code of Criminal Procedure or Penal Code. But, requirement of integrity and high standard of conduct in Police Force has been highly emphasised.   

Hon’ble Justice Bela M. Trivedi. Imtiyaz Ahmad Malla v. State of Jammu & Kashmir, [Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 678 of 2021] decided on 01.03.2023.