Employer can’t arbitrarily fire employee for supressing info / declaring false info: SC

Nobody deserves to be indiscriminately terminated from service even for choosing to hide facts or offer wrong information at the time of selection for the job

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An employer cannot arbitrarily terminate the service of an employee who has been found to have concealed important information about himself or has produced false information.

The supreme Court ruled that while the employee who has not disclosed significant information about himself or has withheld important information or produced wrong information cannot expect to be appointed or seek to be retained, he does not deserve to be indiscriminately or randomly be fired either.

A bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and Sanjiv Khanna observed that any candidate undergoing a selection process is expected to provide true and correct information about himself and his past and track record. However, just because he failed to do so, he/she does not deserve to be terminated arbitrarily.

However, the employer may, after taking into account the facts of the case, the involvement of the said person in criminal activities or such issues, take a decision to either retain him or let him go, considering the nature of his duties / position.

This observation was made while the Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by a constable in the Railway Protection Force (RPF), who was selected for the post and was undergoing the required training. However, in the middle of the training, he was terminated because he had not revealed that an FIR had been registered against him. While the SC maintained that the said constable, given the fact that he had hidden important information about himself, should not expect to be retained in service, or be appointed, he did have the right to not be treated in such an arbitrary manner.

It was found that the FIR registered against him was due to some misunderstanding and the case was of a trivial nature. Also, he was acquitted honourably and the matter did not in any way suggest that his character and morality were questionable.

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