Mumbai, Nov 2 (PTI) The Bombay High Court has held that the role of an unmarried daughter in supporting her family did not change after her marriage and described as "unfair labour practise" a 1994 Maharashtra Government rule which allowed on compassionate ground only unmarried daughters eligible for employment in place of her parent's premature retirement.
"It is impossible to accept in this day and age that assuming a woman gets married she will cut off her ties with the family she is born in and will leave it to suffer the vagaries of life in penury," Justice Nishita Mhatre observed in a significant judgement delivered last week.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by Maharashtra Government against an order of Industrial court which termed as illegal the termination of Medha Parke, a Pune resident, who had secured employment in keeping with the Government policy framed under Maharashtra Civil Services (pension) Rules after her father retired prematurely on medical ground.
"In my opinion, the rule which discriminates against women is arbitrary and therefore it cannot be said that the termination of service of Parke was legal. An unfair labour practise has been established," justice Mhatre observed.
"It is necessary for the Government in this case to establish on evidence that Parke, after having secured employment, was no longer connected with the family that she was born into and that the family was living without her financial support," the judge opined.
One of the eligibility criteria for applying for appointment on compassionate grounds is that the daughter must be unmarried. The Respondent was unmarried when she applied for the post. She was selected as she fulfilled all the other criteria for appointment. Her name was included in wait-list and she was issued an appointment order three years later.
'The petitioner cannot expect the life of Respondent (Parke) to come to a grinding halt only because her name was included in wait list. The unreasonableness and arbitrariness of the Petitioner is writ large," Justice Mhatre observed.
The judge asked, "Does the respondent have to let life pass her by only because her name was included in wait list? The answer must be emphatically in the negative. To suggest that because Parke had not waited long enough to get married, she had committed a fraud, smacks of unfair labour practise.
"In my opinion, the order of Industrial Court is correct and need not be disturbed. Industrial Court has also rightly awarded the backwages. Parke's services were terminated on December 21, 2005. The complaint was filed on January 31, 2006, after a month and 10 days of her termination from service. It is difficult to believe that a person will be able to get job within a month from the date of her dismissal.