'Cannot Claim Protection For Supplying False Information': Delhi High Court Rejects BSF Constable's Plea Against Dismissal For Non-Disclosure Of FIR

Nupur Thapliyal

3 Nov 2022 6:48 AM GMT

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  • Cannot Claim Protection For Supplying False Information: Delhi High Court Rejects BSF Constables Plea Against Dismissal For Non-Disclosure Of FIR

    The Petitioner was a minor when the FIR was registered. The court said he cannot claim protection under JJ Act as on the second occasion he "had admittedly attained majority and was gainfully under the services of BSF. "

    The Delhi High Court has upheld a dismissal order passed against a man, who was appointed as a constable in the Border Security Force (BSF), over "non-disclosure and wrong disclosure" of an FIR registered against him when he was a minor. A division bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Saurabh Banerjee said the petitioner had been giving false information since the very beginning...

    The Delhi High Court has upheld a dismissal order passed against a man, who was appointed as a constable in the Border Security Force (BSF), over "non-disclosure and wrong disclosure" of an FIR registered against him when he was a minor.

    A division bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Saurabh Banerjee said the petitioner had been giving false information since the very beginning — when he filled the form at the time of applying for the post in BSF, when he was yet to commence his training and thereafter once again when he gave a reply to the show cause notice after joining.

    The court said it finds it extremely hard to believe that he was unaware of the FIR or the proceedings emanating therefrom as he certainly would have been a party to those at every stage.  

    "This does not behove good of any prudent civilian like, the petitioner, while filling up the Form while applying for a job in a coveted Force-BSF. This also does not behove good of any prudent Armed Forces personnel like the petitioner while replying to the Show Cause Notice when he was already a part of the coveted Force-BSF. Nobody, especially the petitioner, at any stage i.e., at the time of joining or after joining the Armed Forces can be allowed to make such mistake(s). The same are not only detrimental but also contrary to the expected norms," the bench said.

    The court said the petitioner is guilty of committing a blunder, not once, but twice and such acts are not pardonable in the armed forces. It further said that the phraseology used by petitioner in his reply to the show cause notice was "scathing and loaded with falsities."

    The Case

    According to the petitioner, he was falsely implicated in the FIR when he was a minor.

    When he applied for the post of Constable in the BSF, he did not disclose about FIR. He was appointed  and complete the training. During the course of verification, the BSF came to know about it and issued him a showcause notice on February 4, 2012. His reply was not found satisfactory and he was dismissed form service without any pensionary benefits on February 18 in 2012. His appeal was dismissed by the appellate authority on March 7, 2016.

    It was the case of the petitioner that there was no need for him to disclose information regarding the FIR as there is a specific bar under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.

    On the other hand, it was submitted on behalf of the respondent authorities that at the time of filing the Attestation & Enrolment Form, the petitioner had given false information as he did not disclose about the FIR and thereafter gave an unsatisfactory response to the Show Cause Notice.

    JJ Act Protection

    The court said the position of law qua a juvenile is well laid out in the Act, which is a benevolent piece of legislation primarily enacted to do away with the stigma attached to a juvenile in conflict with law. 

    "A reading of Section 19(1) of the Act bears out that the same is a safe-guarding provision which specifically enumerates that even if a juvenile, after committing any offence, has been held guilty and punished/arrested/convicted under any other law(s) by any Court of law, the same will be nugatory and have no-effect. So much so, Section 19(2) of the Act mandates the Board to remove the relevant records of such conviction at the relevant stage as stated as per the prescribed rules. Similarly, Section 21 of the Act casts a prohibition of publication of details of a juvenile as no report of any kind of any inquiry regarding such juvenile, in conflict with law or one who is in need of care and protection under the Act is to be disclosed." 

    The court said the position of law only solves the issue qua non-disclosure of pendency of FIR by the petitioner while applying for the post.

    "However, the Order dated 18.02.2012 was passed by the respondents after "Considering the matter in its entirety… …", which included the petitioner supplying information false to his own knowledge on two occasions," it added.

    The court noted that the case of respondents is qua non-disclosure and also qua supplying false information of the FIR by the petitioner. Though the petitioner has protection by virtue of the Act for non-disclosure but "but, in our view, he cannot claim any protection for supplying false information twice".

    Continuing, the court said, "...as the petitioner on the second occasion had admittedly attained majority and was gainfully under the services of BSF".

    "Without going into the merit or the status of the FIR, the petitioner was duty-bound to truthfully apprise the respondents about the actual true status thereof. Having not done so, the petitioner is grossly guilty of both withholding and for divulging wrong fact about the FIR on more than one occasion. Such a statement and the act(s) twice do not behove of a soldier, especially the one who is on the verge of joining BSF," the bench said.

    The court said the acts of the petitioners will make it difficult for the authorities to exude confidence upon him "as he is guilty of acting detrimental to the interest of respondents on the very threshold".

    Ruling that the authorities rightly proceeded against the petitioner, the court said though the petitioner was a minor at the time of committing the act but he had attained the age of majority when he made the false statements and "that too when he was in the services of BSF, twice over again".

    "The petitioner was, thus, rightly held guilty of non-disclosure and wrong disclosure," said the court. 

    Advocates Jitendra Kumar Singh and Anjali Kumari appeared for the petitioner. Advocates Vikrant N. Goyal, Ajay Singh, Shikhar Sardana, Ankita

    Sarangi appeared for respondents.

    Title: ANIL KUMAR v. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.

    Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 1035

    Click Here To Read Order 


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