10 April 2023 12:00 PM GMT
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has recently ruled that conviction and sentencing of a convict by the trial court under the provisions of plea bargain as contained in Chapter XXII-A of J&K CrPC does not affect the character antecedents of an individual and hence cannot disable him from seeking a public employment. The observations were made by Justice Javed Iqbal...
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has recently ruled that conviction and sentencing of a convict by the trial court under the provisions of plea bargain as contained in Chapter XXII-A of J&K CrPC does not affect the character antecedents of an individual and hence cannot disable him from seeking a public employment.
The observations were made by Justice Javed Iqbal Wani while hearing a plea in terms of which the petitioner had prayed for a writ of Mandamus upon the respondents to issue order of appointment regardless of his order of conviction passed by the trial court. The petitioner further sought directions upon the respondents to give the benefit of selection from the date conferred upon the co-selectees without any break or deduction accordingly in the interest of justice.
In the instant matter the petitioner had been selected for the post of Special Police Officer after being subjected to the process of selection by the respondents in district Baramulla.
However the petitioner was involved in a criminal case registered under sections 279 (Rash Driving or Driving On Public Way) and 337 (Causing Hurt Rashly & Negligently) RPC, and without being subjected to any trial, the petitioner as a result of plea bargain came to be convicted under section 279, 337 RPC and was imposed a sentence/simple imprisonment till rising of the court and a fine of Rs.1500/-.
Owing to the said conviction and sentence the respondents declined his appointment, which in turn resulted in the institution of the instant petition.
Contesting the plea the respondents submitted that the engagement of the petitioner was subject to certain conditions including verification of his character antecedents which verification revealed that the petitioner had been convicted and sentenced in the aforesaid FIR by the trial court till rising of the court with a fine of Rs.1500/-. The engagement order of the petitioner could not be issued owing to his conviction in the criminal case, respondents argued.
After considering the contentions raised, Justice Wani observed that the petitioner came to be convicted and sentenced under chapter XXII-A of J&K CrPC wherein the Section 265F prescribes that punishment imposed under this chapter shall be considered expiatory in nature and no person punished under this chapter shall be liable to any disability under any law for the time being in force on the ground that he has been punished under this chapter and hence the said conviction per se does not affect the character antecedents of an individual.
The petitioner had been convicted of and sentenced of offence which otherwise also does not involve an offence of moral turpitude, corruption or an offence of such nature having an implication on the integrity of the petitioner which would have rendered disabled him from seeking a public employment, the bench underscored.
"The respondents seemingly have not considered the case of the petitioner in its correct and right perspective and have denied him the engagement as Special Police Officer for which the petitioner otherwise had been found eligible and entitled to", the bench reasoned.
In view of the said legal position the bench allowed the petition and commanded the respondents to reconsider the case of the petitioner for engagement as Special Police Officer for which he stands selected, notwithstanding his conviction and sentence.
Case Title: Amjid Hussain Khan Vs State of J&K
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (JKL) 79
Coram: Justice Javed Iqbal Wani
Counsel For Petitioner: Mr MM Khan
Counsel For Respondent: Ms Asifa Padroo AAG
Click Here To Read/Download The Order