A Calcutta High Court division bench on Tuesday directed the Railway Protection Force (RPF) authorities to reinstate within a month constable Sintu Das, suspended seven years ago for not obeying the orders of the wife of an officer.
The division bench, comprising Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice Manik Mohan Sarkar, also directed the RPF authorities to disburse at least 40 per cent of the salary due to the constable with immediate effect.
In its interim order, the division bench also stayed the operation of the judgment of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which had upheld the suspension order by the RPF authorities two years ago. The bench will hear the matter in detail later.
The prosecution’s case stated that Das was assigned the duty of guarding the quarters of S. Dutta, a divisional security officer in Sealdah.
“The wife of the security officer had engaged me in household work. She used to ask me to buy vegetables from the market. She forced me to wash his clothes,” stated the constable in his petition.
The wife had also allegedly asked him to wash her petticoat. “I refused to obey the order. The woman reported it to her husband after he returned home from work. The officer rebuked me. I left the quarters that day,” said Das in the petition.
“But the officer started pressuring me to rejoin duties at his quarters. After I refused to do so, he lodged a complaint with the higher authorities, stating that I was not obeying his orders. On the basis of the complaint, the RPF authorities first slapped a showcause notice on me and finally in February 2000, suspended me from service,” the constable alleged.
His lawyer Amal Baran Chatterjee told the court that his client had moved a petition before the CAT challenging the suspension.
The lawyer told the division bench that many senior police officers forced their orderlies to do household work. “This should be stopped,” he stressed.