A government worker in Assam, whose job has remained unregularized for 35 years, has written to President Ram Nath Kovind, the governor, and the chief justices of the Supreme Court and the Gauhati High Court, requesting that he be allowed euthanasia on his retirement date of May 30 next year.
Dulal Bora began working for the state public works department in the Nagaon division as a muster roll worker in 1987. He started as a helper and is now a section assistant in the same division, although his position has not yet been formalized.
“Still a Job charge employee…” says Dulal
“I’m still a work charge employee, and I won’t be entitled to a pension until my position is regularised before I retire.
So, what do I do now? I’ll be left with just one option: to end my life, which is why I’ve sought approval for euthanasia from the highest echelons of government” Bora told sources from his home in Nagaon.
He stated that he is fighting for justice rather than for personal gain. “There are hundreds of job charge employees, and if I obtain justice, others will as well,” he remarked.
Bora said he had been applying for regularisation of his job with the government every year. “I don’t recall when I first submitted my application. The last one was on October 22, 2021, and the department notified me on May 11 of this year that my work would not be regularised” Bora remarked.
In a letter to Bora dated May 11, a deputy secretary of the department informed him that muster roll, work charge, and casual workers are “not entitled to regularisation of their services with consequential benefits such as pension and since you are a job charge employee, you are not entitled to any pensionary benefits,” according to a 2017 high court order.
“The Supreme Court upheld a judgment of the Gujarat High Court in February this year, directing the government to pay the pensionary benefits to an ad hoc employee who retired after more than 30 years of service,” Bora said.
However, in a major decision in 2018, the Supreme Court legalized passive euthanasia, allowing patients to make a “living will” to remove medical care if they fall into an irreversible coma.