Woman seeks job of hubby who disappeared 7 yrs ago

A 32-year-old woman has sought on compassionate grounds the job of her husband who went missing seven years ago. M Sumangala has moved the High Court of Karnataka, saying the disappearance of her husband, Shivakumar Swamy, had driven her to a state of destitution as there is no other earning member in her family.

Swamy was working as a teacher at the government primary school in Ramanagaram. His disappearance in January 2010 heaped misery on the family. Sumangala waited for a while for his return before going to police. But police made little headway into the case. In 2014, she moved the high court seeking a direction to the police to trace her husband. The court set a time frame for police to solve the mystery. The government later informed the court that despite the best efforts of the investigating authorities, Swamy could not be traced.

With little hope of her husband’s appearance, Sumangala appealed to the Department of Public Instruction to appoint her to her husband’s position on compassionate grounds. When the department didn’t consider her request, she moved the high court. Justice A S Bopanna has directed the Director of Primary and Secondary Education to decide on her application in accordance with the law. Section 108 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, states, “If a person is missing for over seven years, it is considered as good as dead.”

Justice Bopanna asked Sumangala to file a fresh application before the department seeking the job. The judge directed the police to either proceed with investigation in the missing case or file a closure report before the jurisdictional magistrate. Sumangala told DH, “My husband went missing but my in-laws made no efforts to trace him or look after me. I am told that I can get the job on compassionate grounds after seven years of his disappearance. I’m waiting for a positive response.”

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