Couples must choose between work opportunities and family life, a judge observed in a case where a woman sought a job transfer to be with her daughter, is upheld by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh through the learned Judge JUSTICETARLOK SINGH CHAUHAN and JUSTICE SATYEN VAIDYA, in the case of Lata Devi v. State of HP, (2021 SCC OnLine HP 8908).
Brief facts of the case:
The facts of the matter are as follows: the petitioner was appointed as Staff Nurse at IGMC Shimla; however, previous to joining the respondents’ Department, her marriage was solemnised in 2016 and her spouse is employed by a private firm in Delhi. Since the birth of her daughter Mrinali Thakur, the petitioner has never been able to enjoy the company of her daughter except for the period when she was granted maternity leave and any other kind of duly sanctioned leave. Moreover, the nature of the petitioner’s job has been such that she hardly spares time for her child, and therefore she could not afford to kep her daughter at home.
The Court noted that mandamus is a public remedy that is available when a public entity fails to carry out a legal obligation. In other words, a writ of mandamus is issued against an individual who has a legal obligation to fulfil but has failed or refused to do so. The mere fact that a representation has been filed with the respondents does not provide a basis for the petitioner to maintain the immediate petition, since the respondents have no commensurate obligation to decide the representation. While choosing a vocation and particular service, the petitioner was fully aware that she could not be transferred to the station where her husband is stationed in a private employment in Delhi, and so was necessary to be ready to endure such hardships. Accordingly, the Court rejected the current petition, which is dismissed.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – HARILAKSHMI