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Acquittal doesn't make a person fit to join police: SC

NEW DELHI: Observing that the yardstick for appointments in law enforcement agencies ought to be much more stringent than in other jobs, the SC has upheld the decision to terminate a police constable who was charged for stalking a minor girl.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Rajesh Bindal said that mere acquittal in a criminal case would not automatically entitle a person to be declared fit for appointment in police force and the government has the discretion to terminate his job.

The court allowed a decision of the Madhya Pradesh government to sack the constable after it was revealed by him that he was charged in a criminal case before joining the force but was acquitted.

“The yardstick to be applied in cases where the appointment relates to a law en forcement agency, ought to be much more stringent than those applied to a routine vacancy. One must be mindful of the fact that once appointed to such a post, a responsibility would be cast on the respondent. Therefore, the standard of rectitude to be applied to any person seeking appointment in a law enforcement agency must always be higher for the simple reason that possession of a higher moral conduct is one of the basic requirements for appointment to a post as sensitive as that in the police service,” the bench said.