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'Service-Related Disputes Not Maintainable In PILs': Madras High Court Dismisses Former National Women's Kabaddi Captain's Plea For Govt Job

Sebin James
24 Nov 2021 10:45 AM GMT
‘Service-Related Disputes Not Maintainable Through PILs’: Madras High Court Dismisses Plea Seeking Directions To Grant Employment For Sportspersons

The Madras High Court has dismissed a PIL seeking employment for S. Kavitha, former captain of State and national Kabbadi teams and Asian Games Gold Medalist.

The bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice P.D Audikesavalu observed that public interest litigation cannot be deployed for service matters for the assertion of individual rights.

"…a petition of the nature of public interest is not maintainable to espouse the cause of an individual and in service matters, i.e., even to seek appointment or any dispute relating to service, as has been held by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the cases of Duryodhan Sahu (Dr) v. Jitendra Kumar Mishra, (1998) 7 SCC 273 and Ashok Kumar Pandey v. State of West Bengal, (2004) 3 SCC 349."

On behalf of Ms. Kavitha, the petitioner Association made a representation to recognize her contribution to Sports as a previous captain of the Women Kabaddi team and an Asian Games Gold Medal winner.

Yesterday, the petitioner association contended that they intend to bring forth the cause of sportspersons like Ms. Kavitha who have been deprived of suitable employment despite the contributions they made. Such a lackadaisical attitude from the government would disinterest those who want to engage in sports activities, the petitioner said.

After perusing the affidavit of the petitioner association, it came to the notice of the court that Ms. Kavitha was given employment though acceleratory promotion was denied. She was later removed from her service for alleged breach of contract in 2016 and the petition challenging the same has been pending before the High Court.

The court observed that when the sportswoman had already been granted employment by the state, the argument that the latter failed to recognize the merit of the player who was even appreciated by the President is unfounded.

The court also observed that since her writ petition against removal from service is pending, her representation for reinstatement cannot be considered.

Hypothetically, even if the court chose to give a direction to the effect that the petitioner's representation must be considered and then it gets rejected, it would result in a conflicting situation if the petition to quash her removal order is allowed and she gets reinstated subsequently, the Court said.

The court recorded that Ms. Kavitha accepted her employment after agreeing to the condition that she won't be eligible for acceleratory promotion due to absence of required qualification.

The writ petition was accordingly dismissed.

Case Title: Tamil Nadu Sportsmen Association, Rep. by its General Secretary v. The Government of Tamil Nadu, Represented by its Chief Secretary & Ors.

Case No: W.P.No.24961 of 2021

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