MP HC | ‘Imposition of fine in criminal case as a punishment is also conviction’; service of petitioner terminated for suppressing information

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Vishal Mishra, J. dismissed a writ petition, where the petitioner challenged the order passed against the petitioner whereby the service was terminated because of a criminal case registered against the said petitioner and was accused of not disclosing the relevant information at the time of appointment.

Neeraj Shrivastava, counsel for the petitioner submitted that prior passing the impugned order the procedure as provided under Rules 9 and 52 of Rules M.P. Nagar Palika, Karamchari (Appointment and Services Condition) Rules, 1968 had not been taken care of as no opportunity of hearing was provided to the petitioner prior to passing of impugned order. It was further argued that the offence under Section 3 of the Public Gambling Act was registered against the petitioner wherein he had only been punished with a fine of Rs 75, which he had already deposited. The petitioner contended that the offence was trivial in nature and termination of service based upon such a past act was unfair and unjust.

Counsel for the respondent, S.P. Jain submitted that the petitioner had stated that no criminal case was registered against him and no information had been furnished by the petitioner hence he had concealed all necessary information and verified the same. An affidavit was also submitted by the petitioner to the effect that all the information which he had furnished in the form was true and correct to the best of his knowledge and no part was suppressed or false.

The Court observed that the petitioner had concealed the necessary information related to his criminal background, it was when the character verification took place, and the authorities came to know about the alleged crime. The aforesaid act of the petitioner amounted to suppression of information. The Court held that, “It is settled position of law that imposition of fine in the criminal case by the competent Court is also in category of conviction, therefore, the petitioner cannot be exhorted from its liabilities that he was required to give the complete information in Column 12 of the form submitted by him.” Court further cited the established principle of law that suppression of information was moral turpitude though the crime itself was not, in that eventuality, the service was liable to be terminated, even if there had been no further trial and the petitioner was discharged.[Rajesh Balmik v. State of M.P, 2019 SCC OnLine MP 1349, decided on 28-06-2019]

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