Guwahati, Oct. 5: The Gauhati High Court has directed the Assam government and police to appoint a woman homeguard, Gopa Bhattacharjee, from Silchar in Barak Valley, as a lower division assistant-cum-typist in the office of Cachar superintendent of police within two months, after about 20 years of “denial”.
Bhattacharjee had moved the court twice with the complaint that she was denied the job despite her selection in 2000. She was given a temporary job of a homeguard in the SP’s office in 1993 on “compassionate ground” as her father, Gonesh Bhattacharjee, a police constable with the office, had died of cancer in 1981.
The petitioner was given the temporary job at Rs 1,300 per month. She was assured of consideration for appointment to the LDA-cum-typist post by the Cachar SP but was not appointed though she was called for interviews several times between 1997 and 2000.
She had filed a writ petition in the high court in 2001, making the state home department and the police respondents.
Accordingly, the court directed the police and the state government to consider her case. But the authorities did not comply with the order and she moved the committee on petition of Assam Legislative Assembly, which directed the police in April 2005 to consider her case, but it yielded no result. Bhattacharjee moved the high court again in 2006.
During the hearing, the Cachar SP, in an affidavit, stated that her case did not attract the scheme of compassionate appointment and that she could not be appointed because of a ban on appointment imposed by the then government.
Her case was re-considered and rejected by Cachar SP’s office on December 30, 2003 on the ground that though her father died on January 25, 1981, the family had been surviving for 20 long years with “available resources”.
Bhattacharjee’s lawyer N. Dhar argued that she was selected for the post in accordance with the recognised recruitment process under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution and her right could not be taken away on the pretext that the panel of recruitment had expired.
“The respondents are directed to appoint the petitioner to the post of LDA-cum-typist, subject to police verification in the office of the SP, Cachar, within two months,” the judgment said.