Government to file an affidavit about regularisation of their services in two weeks

Two women’s fight for 42 years for justice and arrears is nearing its ended. The State government submitted a statement to the Supreme Court on January 2 saying that it had paid the second instalment of Rs. 3.68 lakh each to Akku and Leela.

Disclosing this to the media, Ravindranath Shanbhag, president of Human Rights Protection Foundation, said on Friday that the women — who had put in about four decades of service as temporarily appointed cleaners at Government Women Teachers’ Training Institute in Udupi on a monthly salary of Rs. 15 before retiring in 2011 — received the cheques on the New Year’s Day.

The government — which had paid Rs. 2.11 lakh each to the women as first instalment — also assured the apex court that it would file an affidavit in two weeks about regularising the services of Ms. Akku and Ms. Leela.

A contempt of court petition was filed with the Supreme Court on this matter in June 2012. After giving time till October, which was of no avail, the Supreme Court had given an ultimatum. The government opted for an initial payment two weeks ago.

The numerous requests by Ms. Akku and Ms. Leela to make their job permanent and seeking full salary went in vain. Despite clear orders from the government to make all the temporary employees who served for more than 10 years prior to 1984, regular, Ms. Akku and Ms. Leela’s pleas were disregarded.

In 1998, when they complained to the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal, under the guidance of the foundation, the Department of Education terminated them from service. But they continued to serve without any salary. The tribunal’s verdict in 2003 went in favour of Ms. Akku and Ms. Leela, and ordered their jobs be made permanent and they be paid full salaries from 1971.

The State government questioned these orders and moved the High Court, which gave clear orders in 2004, upholding the verdict of the Administrative Tribunal. The State government took the matter to Supreme Court and met the same fate.

In January 2010, the Supreme Court ordered that the posts of Ms. Akku and Ms. Leela be made permanent and their salaries be paid from 1971. “The foundation will fight this case to its logical end,” Mr. Shanbhag said.

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