Mere pendency of FIR not a reason for disqualification from an office of public nature

Kerala High Court: In the recent judgment delivered by the BeNch of Devan Ramchandran, J., the genesis of the controversy lay upon the appointment of a part time Official Receiver under the Insolvency Act, 1955 for Thiruvananthapuram. The Court dismissed the petition as it could not find anything wrong in the view taken by the Full Court in making recommendations of all the 13 persons from whom the name of the fifth respondent (V.K. Raju) was taken by the government. This Court denied to interfere with the findings of the Full Court and the Committee which had no issue with the name of the fifth respondent and had done a preliminary enquiry regarding the qualifications of all the applicants.

The fifth respondent against whose appointment the controversy lies had a criminal complaint against him in the year 2008 but nothing further had been done on that complaint, and the Full Court further found that mere FIR against him doesn’t disqualify him from being considered for appointment to any public office. This opinion of the Full Court was relied on by this Court and hence found to be legally justifiable and the Court, further observed that the FIR which has been pending for the last nine years or would be so for further years would not be a reason for disqualification from an appointment of such nature (of public nature) as in this case. [K. Harindran Nair v. State of Kerala, 2017 SCC OnLine Ker 22723, decided on 25-10-2017]

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