Conviction for minor offences should not be used to disregard one's rights to public employment!
Manoj vs UOI & Ors
About/from the judgment:
CONVICTION FOR MINOR OFFENCES SHOULD NOT BE USED TO DISREGARD ONE'S RIGHT TO PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT!
Life is too precious to be staked over petty incidents and the cruel result of conviction for petty offences being the end of the career, the future and the present, of young and inexperienced persons cannot blast their life and their dreams.
In a growing democracy, where the systems are failing and the weak and the downtrodden are hardly given the opportunity to sharpen their intellect thereby diminishing the ability of their consciousness to act as a mirror to their acts and actions, it is high time that the executive brings into place a policy where summary/ordinary conviction should not be treated as a conviction for entry or retention in government service.
Till then, it would be the duty of the Court to interpret the law by harmonizing human sufferings and human wants, delinquencies and criminal tendencies; conscious of the fact that passengers on Spaceship Earth are the rich and the poor, the needy and the well-off, the hungry and the well-fed, the educated and the uneducated. The need of the hour is to understand that criminals are not born and are not irredeemable brutes. Crime may be a disease but not the criminal, who are a kind of psychic patients and to understand, that anti-social maladies are mostly the result of social imbalances. It must be remembered that on the one hand, social stresses, for various reasons, explosively mount in the real world’s hard environs and the harsh remedy of heartless incarceration and ouster from society deepens the criminality. The swing of the pendulum to the humanist side requires respect for the worth of personhood and the right of every man and woman in its residual human essence.
We have discussed hereinabove the necessity to harmonize the various social imbalances and in particular in favour of those who have been denied the opportunity of developing their consciousness and thereby being deprived of their conscious acting as a mirror to their acts. We have highlighted as to how in various jurisdictions abroad the issue is dealt with. We have discussed hereinabove the deliberations at the ‘All India Seminar on Correctional Service’ where emphasis for re-habilitation of ex-convicts, committing minor offences, by induction in public service was accorded primacy in the deliberations.
It would be advisable for the petitioner to devise a selection procedure by subjecting those who are desirous of seeking employment under the Police to the various tests which we have noted in para 13 above and which we have culled out from jurisprudence followed in matured democracies.
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