The Supreme Court on Monday said that any employee can be sacked by his/her employer for suppressing or giving false information concerning matters having a bearing on his fitness or suitability for the post. The SC laid down broad principles of law to be taken into account especially in the case of recruitment in police forces, saying their ability to inspire public confidence is a bulwark to society’s security.
The top court said that even in a case where the employee has made a declaration truthfully and correctly of a concluded criminal case, the employer still has the right to consider the antecedents, and cannot be compelled to appoint the candidate.
It said that the purpose of requiring an employee to furnish information regarding prosecution/conviction, etc. in the verification form was to assess his character and antecedents for the purpose of employment and continuation in service.
The top court said that the suppression of material information and making a false statement in reply to the queries relating to prosecution and conviction had a clear bearing on the character, conduct, and antecedents of the employee.
A bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala held that “If it is found that the employee had suppressed or given false information in regard to the matters having a bearing on his fitness or suitability to the post, he can be terminated from service.”
It said the same guidelines would be applicable for terminating the service of the employee during the period of probation without holding any inquiry.
The top court dismissed two separate appeals of two CRPF personnel, who have suppressed material information and made a false statement with regard to the queries relating to the prosecution.
The top court also laid down broad principles of law which should be made applicable to the litigations of the present nature. It said that each case should be scrutinised thoroughly by the public employer concerned, through its designated officials-more so, in the case of recruitment for the police force, which is under a duty to maintain order, and tackle lawlessness, since their ability to inspire public confidence is a bulwark to society’s security.