“No judgment of a court, no order of a Minister can be allowed to stand if it has been obtained by fraud, for fraud unravels everything” - Lazarus Estates Ltd. V. Beasley [(1956) 1 QB 702]
In the present case of Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited and another Versus Anil Kanwariya (C.A. No.-005743-005744 / 2021), the divisional bench headed by HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE M.R. SHAH and HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE A.S. BOPANNA dismissed the writ petition filed by the respondent – an employee of Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited and restored the order of termination. Senior Advocate Dr. Manish Singhvi appeared on behalf of the appellants and Mr. Navin Prakash, Advocate appeared on behalf of the respondent.
A brief set of facts is that Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited terminated the services of an employee Anil Kanwariya on non-disclosure of the pending criminal case against him at the time when he submitted the application for the post of Technical Helper. In October of 2013, Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited had issued an advertisement for the post of Technical Helper. The last date for submission of the application for Technical Helper was 14th November 2013. The respondent Anil Kanwariya applied for the said post pursuant to that advertisement. The written test was held on 2nd February 2014. The result of the appointment for the post of Technical Helper was declared on 31st March 2015. A declaration was submitted by Anil Kanwariya on 14th April 2015 declaring that neither any criminal case is pending against him nor he has been convicted by any court of law. The date fixed for documents verification was 14th April 2015. The person who was appointed was required to file a declaration which he submitted stating that neither any criminal case is pending against him nor he has been convicted by any court of law along with the documents for verification. There was already an order of conviction against Anil Kanwariya on the date of submitting the application. He did not disclose, but in fact, made a false declaration which was filed that neither any criminal case is pending against him nor he has been convicted by any court of law even at the time when the declaration was filed on 14th April 2015. After receiving the receipt of the police verification report dated 5th June 2015 from the Superintendent of Police, Sawai Madhopur, and after giving a show-cause notice and an opportunity of being heard to the employee Anil Kanwariya, the employer Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited terminated the services of the employee on the ground of non-disclosure, filing a false declaration and suppression of material fact.
The Honourable Supreme Court referred to and considered few decisions of this Court on appointment obtained by fraud/misrepresentation and/or appointment obtained by suppression of material facts.
The Honourable Supreme Court opined that, in a situation, where the employer feels that an employee who at the initial stage itself has made a false statement or has suppressed the material facts or he has not disclosed the material facts and because of this reason, he cannot be continued in service of the employer because such an employee cannot be relied upon ever, the employer cannot be forced to continue such an employee. This choice or option must be given to the employer always where such a situation arises. At the cost of repetition, such an employee cannot claim the appointment or continue to be in service as a matter of right. The question in these situations is of TRUST. If an employee has done it before then he cannot be trusted as he can repeat it in the future. The credibility and trustworthiness of such an employee are doubtful and is questioned who at the initial stage of the employment, i.e., while submitting the declaration, verification on an application for a post made false declaration and has not disclosed material fact or suppressed the material fact of having involved in a criminal case. The employer might not have appointed him if the correct facts would have been disclosed. It is therefore the choice of the employer to terminate the services of the employee or not.
The Honourable Supreme Court dismissed the writ petition filed by the respondent – an employee of Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited and restored the order of termination.