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A worthy legal battle for 19 years!

Published : 08 Oct 2021 09:31 PM | Updated : 09 Oct 2021 04:21 PM

After almost 19 years of legal battle, Dr Sumona Sarkar, daughter of a freedom fighter, was asked to issue appointment to join as an assistant surgeon as BCS cadre officer.

It is learnt that Dr Sumona had passed the preliminary and written examinations of the Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS-health) in 2001 but she was not issued oral exam (viva) card as she had failed to produce her certificate from the concerned ministry to prove that she was an offspring of a freedom fighter. Freedom fighter’s children are given special quota in BCS to join as officers in the public service.

Meanwhile, Dr Sumona has only 11 years remaining for her public service employment before she would have to retire.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court had directed the authorities concerned to take the viva voce of Sumona and asked the Public Service Commission (PSC) to implement the directive and appoint her if she passes the oral test.

Following the court’s directive, the PSC took the viva voce of the Dr Sumona which she passed. Later, the PSC published the result and recommended recruiting Dr Sumona Sarkar as BCS (health) cadre officer for the post of Assistant Surgeon on Thursday (October 7). 

Dr Sumona took part in the 23rd BCS (Special) Exam-2000. She passed the preliminary and written examinations of the BCS, but at that time the oral (viva voce) examination cards of many candidates, including Dr Sumona, were not issued due to the complications related to the freedom fighter’s certificate. 

Against this backdrop, many of the candidates, including Sumona, couldn’t take part in the viva test at that time. Although she went to take part in the oral exam in 2001, the authorities concerned refused to take her viva exam. 

Later, 12 such victim (candidates) had filed a writ petition in the High Court in 2003. Following the hearing of the writ petition, the High Court directed the authorities concerned to conduct an oral examination. Later, the candidates were appointed to government service through the oral examination.

In continuation of this, Dr Sumona filed a writ petition in the High Court in 2009. Later in 2015, the higher court directed the authorities concerned to take an oral examination of the candidate. However, the PSC appealed against the High Court’s order. 

On October 10 in 2016, the Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division stayed the HC order. The case was then pending in the Appellate Division. 

Finally, after holding hearing of the petition, the bench of Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, passed the order in favour of Dr Sumona on November 19 in 2020. The apex court directed the PSC to give Sumona an opportunity to conduct an oral examination. 

As a result, after almost 19 years, Sumona got the opportunity to appear for the oral exam. 

Advocate Motahar Hossain Saju and Advocate Selina Akter Chowdhury moved for Dr Sumona Sarkar in the court. On the other hand, Advocate Shamim Khaled Ahmed represented the PSC

Suman’s lawyers said that her card was not issued in the viva exam of the 23rd BCS as she could not show her original certificate. A total of 292 others faced the same cases. 

Dr Sumona Sarkar’s father, Prof Dr Amal Krishna Sarkar, is a freedom fighter. He was a member of the Kaderia (Kader Siddiqui) force in Tangail.

Although Sumona’s ancestral home is in Tangail, she is currently working as an ophthalmologist at a private eye hospital in Chattogram. 

Meanwhile, many people have questioned the lost amount of salaries and other benefits during 19 years of the legal battle if the complication did not arise in 2001 when Dr Sumona and other victims had appeared for the exams.

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