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Gujarat HC flags "absolute gender insensitivity" of Gujarat Public Service Commission [Read Order]

By Shreya Agarwal      16 January, 2024 07:58 PM      0 Comments

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court has stayed the Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC) from declaring the results of the interview for the post of Assistant Manager (Finance and Accounts) Class II, after hearing a woman who was called for the same by the GPSC merely 3 days after childbirth. The Court observed that the GPSC’s stance “reflects absolute gender insensitivity towards one of the most sacred natural processes i.e. of giving birth to a child.”

The Court took note of the fact that the woman had successfully cleared the examination in respect of the post previously but was not given any options despite informing about her situation and requesting for an alternative mode or date of interview.

The Court stated that this reflected a lapse of sensitivity on the part of GPSC, “particularly when it was apparent that the petitioner who was a meritorious candidate,” and  “would not be physically capable of attending the interview on the 3rd day after delivering the child.”

Issuing notice to the Gujarat Public Service Commission on the woman's plea, the Court also directed GPSC to keep one post in the cadre of Assistant Manager (Finance and Accounts), Class-II in SEBC Category vacant.

The single-judge bench of Justice Nikhil S. Kariel also indicated that accommodation should have been made for the lady considering that “the selection process itself was not something which was going at a lightning pace more particularly since it would appear that for an advertisement which was issued in the year 2020, the results of the examination had been declared by the GPSC only in the month of December 2023.”

Facts of the case

The petitioner, one Radhika Shankarbhai Pawar was one of the successful candidates for the post of Assistant Manager (Finance and Accounts) Class II, for which vacancies were advertised in 2020 by GPSC, and results declared in December 2023.

The next stage of the selection process, i.e. the interview was scheduled to be conducted on January 1 and 2.

On the very date that the said schedule published i.e. on December 18, 2023, Pawarhad submitted a representation inter alia informing that she is pregnant and the due date was in the 1st week of January 2024.

She stated that it would be impossible for her to travel from Gandhidham to Gandhinagar, almost 300 kilometers away for the interview, in the advanced stage of pregnancy.

Subsequently, she gave birth to a child on December 31, 2023 and that fact had been informed to the GPSC vide an e-mail of the very date, requesting to postpone the interview or provide an alternative solution for the same.

However, the refused to accommodate her request, reverting that she should remain present for interview on January 2 itself and thereafter no further time could be granted.

 

[Read Order]



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