New Delhi, The Supreme Court has said that a person accused of moral turpitude involving kidnapping of a girl but subsequently acquitted cant be denied appointment as a judicial officer in subordinate judiciary.
Striking down the Maharashtra government order in June 2010 cancelling the selection of Mohammed Imran to the judicial service, Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Navin SSinha said the rejection of Imran’s candidature was “afflicted by a myopic vision, blurred by the spectacle of what has been described as moral turpitude…”
Having set aside the state government’s June 2010 order, the court directed that fresh consideration of the case be given within eight weeks.
Justice Sinha said: “Every individual deserves an opportunity to improve, learn from the past and move ahead in life by self improvement. To make past conduct, irrespective of all considerations, an albatross around the neck of the candidate may not always constitute justice.”
Contending that he had been subjected to “arbitrary and hostile discrimination”, Imran had cited the case another aspirant, Sudhir Gulabrao Barde, who was prosecuted but was acquitted on November 24, 2009 and had been appointed.
The Maharashtra government contended that the standard of behaviour and conduct for appointment to judicial services have to be different from any other service. It said Imran was involved in an act of moral turpitude.
Not accepting the Maharashtra’s position, the top court said: “Undoubtedly, judicial service is very different from other services and the yardstick of suitability that may apply to other services may not be the same for a judicial service. But there cannot be any mechanical or rhetorical incantation of moral turpitude.”