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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 23 May 2024 11.39 AM IST

High court quashes government's decision to deny employment to Scheduled Caste youth quoting Oscar Wilde and Victor Hugo

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Just as every saint has a past, every sinner has a future as well. This gist of a judgment passed by the Kerala High Court yesterday should make law enforcers and appointing authorities alike sit up and think. A division bench of the High Court quashed the government's decision to deny employment to a Scheduled Caste youth for being accused in nine criminal cases. Justices A Muhammad Mushtaq and Shoba Annamma Eapen gave this exemplary judgment by judging that the government action was taken without considering the fact that the man had paid fines and was acquitted in the cases. Binesh Babu, a native of Vaikom Chembu, approached the court against the denial of appointment in the Armed Police Battalion.

The petitioner Binesh Babu had received PSC's advice memo for an appointment but the government cancelled the appointment alleging that Binesh Babu had concealed the cases in his name. Binesh approached the Administrative Tribunal against the government's action but it did not intervene. Following this, he approached the High Court. There were cases against Binesh Babu in Vaikom and Thalayolaparambu police stations related to physical assault and sand mining. Binesh Babu was acquitted after paying fines in sand mining cases. It was also found that the physical assault case was fabricated by some of his relatives. Referring to these circumstances, the High Court ordered the appointment of the petitioner.

The court's announcement of the verdict included portions from Oscar Wilde's famous play "A Woman of No Importance" and Victor Hugo's short story "Poor People" as examples. No one is born a criminal, many are driven to crime by circumstances. It is also due to the shortcomings of our social order that once someone commits a crime unintentionally, he has to remain a criminal for life. It is unlikely that anyone would want to remain a criminal if given the opportunity to correct and repent. Even innocent people are sometimes turned into criminals by the misdeeds of a dominant section of the police. We can't fail to get a number of such experiences from the police stations of our country.

The question of whether a job can be provided to someone who is denied employment on frivolous grounds is also relevant. The court cited the plight of Jean Valjean, who had to turn into a thief because he couldn't bear to watch his sister's children starve, in Victor Hugo's famous work "Poor People". Jean Valjean is caught by the police and brought before the bishop after he stole the silver candlesticks from the table of the bishop who fed him. When asked if the bishop knows him, the bishop says that he knows him and that he is his brother and that he gifted those silver candlesticks to him. The bishop's response changes Jean Valjean's mind and the light of a new life dawns in his life. There is a similar magnanimity and value in this judgment of the Kerala High Court.

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