NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has ordered reinstatement of the four army personnel, discharged for using fake relationship certificates for enrolment, saying they have actually not produced any relationship certificate for selection as they never applied in the reserved category.
"There is no whisper that any inquiry was conducted to ascertain or find out as to whether the appellants had actually produced relationship certificates for the purposes of enrolment /recruitment in the Army,”
a bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal pointed out, in a judgment of February 9.
The court noted no finding has been recorded by the respondents that the appellants had as of fact, produced such certificates or that their explanation claiming that no such certificates were furnished by them is completely false.
The bench set aside the Armed Forces Tribunal's order, which refused to interfere with the discharge certificate, dismissing the appellants from service for adopting fraudulent means.
"The tribunal in a casual and routine manner affirmed the discharge/dismissal order simply holding that the relationship certificates produced by the appellants have been found to be fake even upon verification,”
the bench said.
“The tribunal also seems to have lost sight of the crucial point of the appellants that they have applied under the general category and not as relatives of servicemen/ex-servicemen. They have not produced the alleged certificate(s) which could be held to be fake”,
the bench added.
The court said the core issue arising in the matter was missed not only by the authorities concerned but by the tribunal as well, therefore the orders of discharge/dismissal of the appellants and that of tribunal stand vitiated for non-consideration of the material aspect.
The bench noted that the respondents have relied upon a newspaper clipping, dated September 27, 2009, which was neither part of the record before the tribunal or of these appeals but was passed over to it for the purposes of its perusal.
“The respondents made no efforts to bring it on record at any stage, not even before this court except for placing it across the Bar for our perusal. In such a scenario, it is not at all appropriate for this court to consider and rely upon it,”
the bench said.
The bench said it is simply a news item published in the newspaper informing that such an exercise for enrolment /recruitment under the unit headquarters quota is going to take place without specifically stating that general category candidates who do not have any relationship with servicemen/ex-servicemen are prohibited or barred from applying.
The court found that appellants brought on record copies of their applications submitted for the purposes of enrolment /recruitment, where they have not claimed status of a relative of servicemen/ex-servicemen, NCC, Sports persons rather they have clearly stated to be of general category.
The order of the Commandant, dismissing the appellants, stated that at the time of enrolment in December, 2009 under the unit headquarters quota at the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre, the relationship certificates of the appellants upon verification from records have been found to be manipulated and false.
The court ordered reinstatement of four personnel with full consequential benefits.