Court fines NHRC Rs.100,000 for violating rights of employee

June 24th, 2009 - 1:53 pm ICT by IANS  

By Kanu Sarda
New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been slapped with a fine of Rs.100,000 by the Delhi High Court for “blatant violation of the human rights” of a constable who was employed with it for 10 years before being “thrown out”.

In a recent order, Justice Kailash Gambhir pulled up the NHRC for not hearing the plea of constable Rajender Prasad who wanted his 10-year job regularised and said: “There has been blatant violation of the human rights of the petitioner, who after putting in about more than 10 years of service was thrown out on the ground that his appointment was dehors (out of) the recruitment rules.”

“Such periodical extensions on service ruins one’s entire career and at times the employee gets deprived of many opportunities maybe because of over age or other factors, which otherwise would have been available if such an employee would have been shown the exit door at the earliest possible time,” the judge noted in his order.

“Since the Commission failed to protect the human rights of the petitioner who will be thrown on the road to struggle again to search for a job, the same being in serious violation of his human rights, cost of Rs.100,000 is imposed for their inhuman act,” the court said.

Prasad, who had approached the court seeking directions for his reinstatement with NHRC on the post of constable, said he had worked in the army as a hawaldar for 15 years and had taken voluntary retirement.

“At the time of the appointment, posts of constables were lying vacant in NHRC and he was appointed against one such post with an assurance of regularisation. In view of such an assurance from NHRC, the petitioner joined the commission,” his counsel argued before the court.

The NHRC employed him on a contract basis for one year in 1996. Ten years later, on Aug 31, 2006, it terminated his services for no convincing reason, he said.

The NHRC’s lawyer, on the other hand, argued that the termination was not illegal as there was no provision of re-employment in the recruitment rules.

While penalising NHRC, the court also turned down Prasad’s plea for reinstatement, stating that there were many people waiting for employment and equal opportunity should be given to all.

“As things now stand, the acceptance of such a plea at the instance of the employees before us would lead to the consequence of depriving a large number of other aspirants of an opportunity to compete for the post or employment,” the court ruled.

It also blamed the petitioner for not taking prompt steps for regularising his job and taking up the matter only when his services were terminated.

“No doubt it could not have been expected of a statutory body like National Human Rights Commission, who are protectors and saviours of the human rights of people to keep extending the contract of the petitioner in the face of existing recruitment rules which nowhere provide for reemployment of ex-serviceman on the said post of constable,” the judge stated.

He said the NHRC was playing an “effective role in implementation of human rights” but the “relentless human rights violation of the present petitioner by NHRC itself has gone unnoticed by it”.

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