Subsequent acquittal can be no ground for reconsideration of appointment: SC

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Anil Bharadwaj v The Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh &ors.

CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).3419 of 2020 (Arising out of SLP(C)No.10255 of 2020) Decided on October 13, 2020.


BENCH- Ashok Bhushan, M.R. Shah, JJ.


In the present case, appellant participated in the selection process of the District Judge (entry level) in Madhya Pradesh. He featured in the provisional list but was denied appointment owing to a criminal case pending against him filed by his wife. The cases was filed under section 498A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code. The High Court of Madhya Pradesh acquitted him of all the charges. He filed an appeal on the basis of acquittal order for reconsideration of his appointment but the same got dismissed. Aggrieved by this judgment, appellant filed this appeal to Supreme Court. 


Whether the subsequent acquittal of the appellant can be ground to reconsider him for appointment on the post?



The Supreme Court relying on Union Territory, Chandigarh Administration and others v Pradeep Kumar and another, (2018) 1 SCC 797 held that acquittal in a criminal case does not automatically ensure appellant’s appointment to a post. The Hon’ble Court further observed that the decision of the Screening Committee must be held final unless it is arbitrary or vitiated by mala fide intention. Any such vitiation can be challenged in constitutional courts exercising Judicial Review. Furthermore taking the facts of the case in consideration, the Hon’ble Court concluded that the decision of Appointment Committee for holding the appellant unsuitable for post of District Judge was based on relevant considerations and could not be considered as mala fide or arbitrary. Hence appellant’s acquittal in a criminal case did not furnish sufficient ground for reconsidering his appointment.

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