The Gauhati High Court on Monday directed the State government to respond to a petition challenging mandatory registration at employment exchanges to apply for government jobs, in light of overcrowding concerns amid the pandemic. (Arif Md Yeasin Jwadder v. State of Assam).
A Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice N Kotiswar Singh queried the State government on whether it desired to continue with the mandatory registration at employment exchange or whether there was a proposal to halt the same.
The petitioner-in-person Advocate Arif Md Yeasin Jwadder has primarily assailed the utility of registration at employment exchanges during the pandemic.
It is noted that the District Employment Exchanges allow registrations only for traditional courses such as those holding degrees of Bachelor’s or Master’s of Arts and Science.
The petitioner goes on to point out that there were only four exchanges for professional courses. These centres are mostly overcrowded and render the unemployed susceptible to COVID-19, it is submitted.
“Due to overcrowding at the employment exchange there happens complete violation of social distancing norms, leading to catastrophic consequences and which would undo the impact in success to curb the spread of the COVID-19. This makes the unemployed youth and students more prone to catching the deadly COVID-19 virus, leading to mortality and death, which is a direct infraction of their rights under Article 21”, the petitioner states.
Therefore, the petitioner seeks a direction from the Court for a temporary halt on compulsory registration to avail government jobs in order to protect the right to life of jobseekers.
Another relief sought is the establishment of employment exchanges for professional jobs as well, in addition to the District Exchanges for other degree-holders. Additionally, it is also urged that online modes of registration be facilitated for all courses.
The State has been directed to respond by February 18, 2021.