The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to appoint a man to the post of clerk-cum-typist in the City Civil and Sessions Court, after he was denied the same for failing to declare that he had not taken dowry from his wife.
A division bench of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S J Kathawalla said, “We do not think that this requirement can be enforced in such a manner that by mere failure to provide declaration counter-signed by wife, father and father-in-law, he could be denied the opportunity to serve the organisation, though he may have been found meritorious.”
The petitioner, Nilesh Pasarkar, had moved the court challenging the order of a City Civil Court, Bombay, on March 3, 2018 barring the petitioner to join the duty as he failed to serve a declaration stating that he has not taken any dowry from his wife. The petition said that Pasarkar applied for the post of Junior Clerk, based on the advertisement published on July 8, 2013. His first preference of posting was City Civil Court, Mumbai.
In October 2017, Pasarkar was offered the job of a clerk-cum-typist. As per condition No.7 of the appointment order, Pasarkar had to submit a declaration stating that he had not taken any dowry.
According to rules, such declaration would have to be signed by the wife, father and the father-in-law of the candidate. Pasarkar told the court that soon after his wedding on April 28, 2015, due to some misunderstanding, his wife left their house after two months and thereafter, despite efforts, there was no immediate reconciliation.
He further told the court that his wife had subsequently filed an FIR before Balapur police station in November 2016 alleging harassment and dowry demand by Paraskar. Under such circumstances, he was unable to give the necessary declaration.
His counsel S B Talekar argued “the failure on the part of the petitioner to make such a declaration could not result into denial of appointment as per his performance in the recruitment tests”.
Talekar further said that due to difference between the husband and wife, the wife was not willing to sign any such declaration. Even the FIR filed by the wife against the husband and other relatives, did not allege acceptance of dowry. It only refers to a demand being made by them.
Assistant government pleader Amit Shastri argued that the circular issued by the High Court makes it a requirement of such a declaration compulsory for the staff of subordinate courts.
He added that the petitioner cannot secure appointment unless he made the declaration.
The bench said, “The requirement is that not only the male married employee should make a declaration that he has not accepted the dowry, such a declaration should also be counter signed by his wife, father and father-in-law. There could be multiple reasons why anyone of these persons may refuse to counter-sign such declaration.”
The bench added, “Whether dowry was demanded or not, whether accepted or not, if husband and wife have uneasy relations, by the time, the husband receives an offer of appointment by Government organisation, the wife may refuse to sign the declaration simply to frustrate his attempt to get decent employment.”