Question: I was working as a technical officer in the BHEL. At the time of appointment I did not disclose the criminal case which was compounded after the compromise between the parties. Can the department terminate my service due to non-disclosure of a compromised case at the time of joining? That FIR was lodged under Section 323, 504, 506 IPC. Actually there was a dispute in respect of agricultural land.
We are the owners of five bigha land where a national highway is going through. The owner of adjoining land was demanding a passage from our land. He wanted to open a restaurant but due to narry access his plan was not materialising. Then he lodged an FIR against us. In that FIR the investigating officer never arrested us and also did not file a charge sheet.
We also filed a cross case against them. Then we approach the court and submit a compromise deed. Thereafter the court had compounded the case. At the time of joining I thought that I should avoid mentioning that false and frivolous case in the form.
Therefore, I did not mention the information of that criminal case in the joining form. Now the BHEL has terminated my service upon receiving a complaint that I have concealed material fact. BHEL did not issue a notice and did not provide me an opportunity of hearing. What should I do?
Asked from: Uttarakhand
All the offences mentioned in that first information report (FIR) are trivial in nature. The case was compromised at the initial stage. There was no arrest of the accused.
Concealing the information about this case does not affect the efficiency and suitability of the employee. Hence, the department should have overlooked this case.
You should move a representation before the appointing authority to reconsider its decision to terminate your service. If you get no response or the department rejects your representation then you should file a writ petition before the High Court. However, in Avtar Singh v. Union of India and Ors. AIR 2016 SC 3598; the Supreme Court has held that
Once verification form requires certain information to be furnished, declarant is duty bound to furnish it correctly and any suppression of material facts or submitting false information, may by itself lead to termination of his services or cancellation of candidature.
But in your case, the nature of offence is trivial and that criminal case came to end before the joining of service. If the department weighs this case it will not affect your sincerity, conduct, efficiency and suitability.
Hence, concealment of that information is not “material” in your case. The High Court may quash the termination order.