The Bombay High Court has directed the Centre and the Maharashtra government to inform about their respective policies, if any, regarding continuation of employment of HIV positive persons. A division bench headed by Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing a petition filed by a former employee of the Navy whose service was terminated after it came to light that he was HIV positive. The petitioner, who worked as a sweeper, challenged the termination and sought direction to the Navy to at least give him pension.
The petitioner, who was working with the Navy for seven years, was diagnosed with HIV infection in 2003. The authorities terminated his service after learning about this, he alleged. His lawyer Mihir Desai argued that the petitioner was HIV positive but it did not mean that he was suffering from AIDS. “The infection was detected in time and he has been taking requisite therapy. He is in a fit condition to perform his job,” Desai said.
He also argued that as per the government’s current policy, the petitioner would have been entitled to a disability pension had he completed ten years in the Navy. The bench Friday asked the Union and the state governments to inform about their policy in such cases, and posted the petition for further hearing on April 20.