Justice delayed is justice denied. This is what Tapasi Roy Chowdhury, widow of a defence employee, has found to her cost.
Tapasiís petition narrating her ordeal over the years came up for hearing before Justice Arun Mitra of Calcutta High Court on Monday. Having heard the case, the judge directed the defence authorities to file an affidavit to clarify their status.
Tapasi, a graduate from Calcutta University, was promised a job at age 56 as a lower division clerk in the Military Engineering Services (MES) after her husband died in harness in 1993. Then, she had nobody to look after her three minor children.
On the basis of her job application, the MES authorities asked the district magistrate (DM) to make an inquiry and submit a report to them at the earliest. After three years, in 1996, the DMís office sent a report to the MES, recommending that Tapasi be appointed immediately for the maintenance of her children, then studying in primary institutions.
After a year, in October 1997, the MES wrote to Tapasi, asking her if she would like to join as a Group-D staff instead of a lower division clerk. Desperate to make both ends meet, Tapasi, then 56 years old, promptly agreed and dashed off a fresh application to the defence authorities.
But she had to wait for two more years for the job. And by that time, she had attained the age of superannuation and so, was denied the job. At this juncture, the defence authorities agreed to employ her graduate daughter Sunanda. But to date, the job offer is yet to arrive.
On June 27 this year, Tapasi received a letter from the Garrison Engineer, MES, Alipore, saying her case ďdoes no more fit for consideration, as Roychowdhury died long 10 years agoĒ.
Petitionerís lawyer Supradip Roy told the court Tapasiís son had to cut short his study of engineering at Jadavpur University, though he fared well in this yearís Joint Entrance Examinations, due to financial difficulties. Tapas Hazra, counsel for the defence, refused to believe that Tapasi has no money to educate her son.