HC comes to aid of murdered lawyer’s kin,grants job to wife

Also relaxes rules for her promotion; the 32-year-old was killed over a parking dispute

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chandigarh | Published:June 23, 2013 4:40 am

The Chandigarh Police must take a leaf out of the High Court’s book as to how to place compassion above “rules”.

For,the Punjab and Haryana High Court has given a government job to the wife of Amarpreet Singh,32,a lawyer who was murdered in Mohali in February over a parking dispute. Within a month of her uncle requesting the then Chief Justice in this regard,the High Court invoked special powers to grant Surinder Kaur the job of a restorer in the High Court library.

In stark contrast,the Chandigarh Police has been denying a job to the daughter of Inspector Bakshish Singh who died on duty on January 17,2011. The 21-year-old daughter has been denied the job on the grounds that her mother is a teacher at a government school and has “sufficient funds”.

The “we care for you” brigade does not find her case fit for the grant of a job on compassionate grounds. For the past two years,the Inspector’s wife,mother of three,has been running from pillar to post but to no avail. Both her written representations have been turned down by the police.

Significantly,the lawyer who was shot dead was not an employee of the High Court. This and other procedural difficulties surfaced when a job was sought by the family of the deceased. “I was clearly told that there is no provision to grant a job,even on compassionate grounds,since Amarpreet was not an employee of the High Court. However,the High Court showed generosity in granting a job to Amarpreet’s wife,” said Manjeet Singh,uncle of the deceased.

Manjeet told Chandigarh Newsline that he had personally met former Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri at a formal event in Mohali district courts in the month of April. Amarpreet was murdered in February over a parking row. “I had requested him to give a government job to Surinder as Amarpreet was the sole bread winner of the family. He had told me that there were no such provisions under which a job could be offered but had assured me that it would be looked into,” said the uncle.

The lawyers of the Mohali Court Bar Association came forward to request the High Court to give a job to her. A restorer gets a salary of around Rs 20,000 per month.

Thirty-one-year-old Surinder,a law graduate,worked as an associate with a senior lawyer in Mohali district courts. She has a four-year-old son to look after. “With a four-year-old to look after and other household chores,it would have become very difficult for Surinder to devote time to the law profession. We had made this clear in our representations,” said Manjeet.

Not only this,the High Court has also relaxed the rules for her to take the examination for the post of a clerk within one year. “It was not easy to consider and grant the job to Surinder as rules,per se,do not allow so. However,since Amarpreet was a lawyer and a member of the legal fraternity,a compassionate view has been taken to ensure that his wife and family members can be helped,” said a senior High Court officer. “Compassion must always outweigh rules and conditions that deny justice.”

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