Tattoo Scar No Longer Grounds for Disqualification in CAPF and Assam Rifles Recruitment : Raj HC

Tattoo Scar No Longer Grounds for Disqualification in CAPF and Assam Rifles Recruitment : Raj HC

The Rajasthan High Court has upheld that a candidate applying to join the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles cannot be deemed medically unfit solely due to having a scar from tattoo removal.

In addition, the Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Munnuri Laxman emphasized that the presence of a tattoo alone is not sufficient reason for disqualification. Rather, factors such as the size and location of the tattoo on the body are pertinent in determining medical fitness for candidacy.

During the proceedings, the Court was addressing an appeal lodged by the Central government challenging a previous ruling by a single judge. This earlier ruling had instructed the authorities to enlist a candidate as a Constable (General), despite the candidate having a scar from tattoo removal on her right forearm and the back of her right hand.

The Center contended before the division bench that tattoo marks signify medical unfitness and argued that the single judge had overstepped by intervening with the Medical Board's decision to declare the candidate unfit.

After examining the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Court noted that while tattoo marks are deemed distasteful and potentially disruptive to the discipline of the forces, the guidelines do not impose an absolute prohibition on them. The Court observed that certain exceptions are carved out in specific cases.

Furthermore, the Court mentioned the provisions that state guidelines that address the location and size of tattoos, which could potentially render a candidate medically unfit. It emphasized that tattoos placed on traditional areas of the body, such as the inner aspect of the left forearm (considered a non-saluting limb) or the dorsum of the hands, are permissible according to these provisions.

Regarding size, the Court highlighted that the tattoo must occupy less than 1/4 of the specific body part (such as the elbow or hand). Therefore, the Court expressed the view that if a tattoo has already been removed and only a scar remains, it would not fall within the scope of disqualification.

Hence, the Court concurred with the rationale put forth by the single judge and affirmed that the dismissal of the candidacy in the current case had been appropriately overturned.

Deputy Solicitor General Mukesh Rajpurohit represented the Union of India.

Advocate NR Budania represented the candidate.

Case Title: Union of India vs Sanyogita

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