‘Rule does not permit lady peon to stay with officer’

CSWO slams Soil and Water Conservation Director

SHILLONG: The CSWO has expressed shock over the justification given by the Director of the Soil and Water Conservation, D. Langstieh, on allegations levelled against him by a lady peon and asked the State Government to immediately cancel the transfer order of the woman.
CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing in a statement issued here on Tuesday said the transfer of the woman to Byrnihat is a direct abuse of power by the officer not following the rule of law.
CSWO expressed surprise over the stand of the government official that the lady employed as an orderly peon was feigning ignorance about her work.
“Where in the rule notified by the Government in Gazette publication form does it define that an orderly peon, that too a woman, should reside in the house of the Director or officer and in this case the Director was staying alone,” CSWO said.
“The lady peon did the right thing by flatly refusing his orders to stay in his quarters, which is not prescribed anywhere in the service rules of the State Government of Meghalaya,” it added.  According to CSWO, the lady peon applied for a post duly advertised by the State government and if the official had crossed his limits in demanding something beyond his powers, he should be the one punished and not the woman.
“Even if we go by his allegations, he clearly knows the rule of issuing a notice to the staff to explain her negligence of duty before resorting to punitive action of stopping her pay or transferring her,” the statement said.
“In this case, she was duly doing her job required of her for months and it was only when she refused to stay in the Director’s quarters was she punished,” CSWO alleged.
“On reporting about the incident to the Superintendent, in the office of the Directorate of Soil and Water Conservation, situated in the DTO Building at Lachumiere, she was asked to bear with the Director and to be outside his quarter which is situated in Cleve Colony. She did just that, in rain or sunshine, as he did not allow her in, nor was she allowed in the office, and the Director stopped her pay instead,” CSWO pointed out.
“When the family members of the lady peon approached the Director, her grandmother was told that this post is residential and that it is the procedure that she has to stay, and condition of the post is to stay at home. The lady peon knocked every door of the Government hoping to be heard and it was only when she spoke out about her plight before the people through the media was action taken to pay her and the authorities called for a committee to examine and inquire the incident,” the statement said.
According to CSWO, it is a bad policy on the part of the Government to allow the Director to demand a staff to stay at his place, and non action to complaints, gives a chance to exploit women.
“The Government should immediately address this and take out the rule duly notified in gazette publication form and stop harassment of women and exploiting them through such unwarranted orders,” the statement added.


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