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Meghen kin moves court

- UNLF chief’s daughter-in-law denied Manipur police job

Imphal, Feb. 19: Thounaojam Brinda, daughter-in-law of R.K. Meghen alias Sana Yaima, the jailed chairman of United National Liberation Front, has moved court after the state government denied her a Manipur Police Service job even after she cleared the competitive examination.

Acting on her petition, Justice T. Vaiphei of the Imphal bench of Gauhati High Court today issued a notice to the state chief secretary D.S. Poonia, seeking a reply whether she could be appointed as government employee or not.

The petition has challenged the legality, validity, propriety and constitutionality of not issuing the appointment letter to her after she was selected for the post.

Brinda cleared the combined examination held in 2010 and ranked 34 in the merit list declared on September 26 last year. While the other successful candidates were given appointment orders, she was denied the post. In a memorandum issued on January 10 this year, Poonia declared that Brinda was “not fit” for a police service post.

The reasons given in the memorandum include her involvement in an FIR registered at Imphal police station under various IPC sections relating to attempt to commit an offence. The memorandum, however, did not elaborate on the charges against her.

It also said Brinda is on bail in connection with the FIR and charged that she and her family members openly showed “solidarity and support” to her father-in-law when he was arrested in 2010.

“Brinda, if appointed as a Manipur Police Service officer, will be in a position to disclose and compromise the programmes and policies of the department if she so desires and considering her sympathy and closeness to Meghen, it is likely to make the department highly vulnerable to the designs of the UNLF,” the memorandum said.

The petition terms the reasons given by the chief secretary as “absurd and atrocious” and said it was an attempt to drive away her family members from the mainstream. Brinda is married to Meghen’s son R.K. Chinglen.

Brinda moved the high court after her repeated petitions to chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and deputy chief minister Gaikhangam failed to ensure her appointment. She argued that denying of the post is “illegal and arbitrary” and prayed that her appointment order be issued and the memorandum be quashed. The petition said she was not involved in any terrorist activities.

She first filed her petition in the Supreme Court on January 11, as the Imphal bench of Gauhati High Court was not functioning on account of a lawyers’ strike then. The apex court allowed withdrawal of the petition on February 4 as the Imphal bench started functioning.

She filed the petition yesterday and the next hearing has been fixed for March 7.