Person’s Character should not be judged on the basis of family members criminal background: Supreme Court

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New Delhi: Granting relief to those who were declined ‘good character’ due to any of their family member’s Criminal background, the honourable Apex Court of India has ruled that a ‘good character certificate’ should not be denied only because the claimant’s spouse or other family members were having criminal background.

The personal behaviour and nature of one is a yard stick for gauging his character, either good or bad, as observed by the Apex Court while dealing with the challenge against the decision of District Collector of the State of Uttar Pradesh-based Basti where he had refused granting of ‘Character Certificate’ to one Woman being Manyata Devi due to her Husband’s involvement in the Criminal Case.

The three- Judges Bench of the Top Court, comprising of Justice, T. S. Thakur, Justice, R. F. Nariman and Justice, P. C. Pant, has pulled up the said District Collector for his inventing a new ground for denying a Character Certificate by observing that such Character Certificate to issued after considering the personal character of the person claiming that certificate and should not depending upon the personal character of his family members or spouse.

As such, the Apex Court’s said bench after observing the said has directed the concerned District Collector of Basti (Utter Pradesh) to issue the Character Certificate to Manyata Devi. It was as long as 6 years period, the said Claimant (Manyata Devi) was fighting for justice against rejection of her claim for Character certificate by the said District Collector and now she and others in the Country having same grievance are provided with relief by the Top Court in this Judgment.

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It was also observed by the Apex Court in the same case that, the District Collector referring the criminal cases against Devi’s Husband, was wrong, as those cases were ended by the Court of Law in his acquittal and also the Top Court said that the fact of criminal cases registered against Husband, how can result in denying the right of Wife to get Certificate of Good Character, the same found difficult to appreciate.

The appellant being Manyata Devi was claiming before the District Collector the Character and Solvency Certificate for getting herself registered as Contractor under the Uttar Pradesh Government’s Irrigation Department.

The Solvency certificate was issued by the District Magistrate, however, in relation to the Character Certificate, he had declined her right on the basis of Enquiry report mentioning that the Husband of Devi was having involvement in 4 Criminal Cases.

In her challenge to the said decision of the District Collector, Devi has firstly, moved to the High Court of Allahabad where her claim for character certificate was allowed to be reconsidered by the said Collector, however, in considering the same, the District Collector again rejected the same holding that she was not having any experience for getting herself registered as Contractor. As a result she again approached to the High Court, but her plea was rejected by that Court, since feeling aggrieved she moved to the Top Court. The Apex Court, beside making aforesaid observations, has also pointed that though the appellant- Devi is not having any experience in getting Government Works executed, but even after this, she have right to claim that certificate of Good Moral Character.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.