The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation should act as a model employer and should treat women on a par with men, Justice T.S. Sivagnanam has held at the Madras High Court bench here.
The judge made the observation while delivering his judgment in the case of T. Vijayalakshmi (34), whom the TNSTC refused to interview for the post of conductor, because she is a woman.
The petitioner secured her conductor’s licence in 1996 and registered her name in the employment exchange the same year. Her name was sponsored for an interview conducted by the TNSTC, Madurai in February 2010.
But the officials refused to interview her stating that they do not propose to recruit women candidates for the post of conductors, she told the court.
Ms Vijayalakshmi submitted a representation to the officials of the TNSTC expressing her anguish that her long cherished dream of becoming a conductor was shattered because of the discrimination based on her gender.
She then moved the court stating that the officials failed to consider her representation.
In a counter affidavit, the managing director of the TNSTC, Madurai, contended that one Mrs Vasanthakumari, the first woman driver appointed by the TNSTC, Nagercoil, faced several problems and hence they are not in a position to recruit the petitioner as a conductor.
Dismissing the contentions of the TNSTC, the judge said, “It is common knowledge that every employment has its own problems and difficulties. Here is a candidate, who is bold enough and willing to take the assignment of a women conductor.”
“The fact that the first women driver faced certain practical problem should not be a deterrent factor for considering women candidate for the post of conductors”, he added.
Justice Sivagnanam further suggested that the TNSTC could use the service of the women in the special buses for women and children.
Disposing the writ petition, the judge directed the managing director of the TNSTC, Madurai to consider the petitioner for being employed as a conductor, with relaxation to the age limit considering the fact that she has waited for the job since 1996.