SRINAGAR: An 80-year-old barber, dismissed by police three decades back from ‘service’, is still pinning hopes on the judiciary for his reinstatement though his civil suit has been dismissed for the lack of follow-up. The elderly barber, living a lonely life, is hopeful of settling down after his job is restored.
Ghulam Mohammad Hajam, a resident of Amira Kadal, alleges that the police department gobbled up his five years salary and showed him exit after he entered into a scuffle with an officer. He regularly shows up at the court premises and inquires about next hearing of his case little knowing that his case has been dismissed. The court record says that his case was dismissed because he did not persue it for many years. Hajam says that he missed some court hearings follwing the devastating floods in September 2014.
Hajam was appointed as barber in the police department way back in 1972 and served for 15 years. He says that he was terminated from service on a minor scuffle with an officer. “I was appointed as barber in Auxiliary police force in 1972 and after serving for 15 years I was terminated from service on disciplinary issue,” he said adding the actual reason for his termination was that he did not grease the palms of his officers for regularization of his service.
“In 1988, I filed a civil suit against the department for reinstatement and release of salary of five years,” he said.
He says that the dismissal from service halted his life. “I am all alone doing everything myself–from cooking food to washing clothes. There is no one back home to look after me. I am hopeful that court will pass judgment in my favour. Once the decision comes, I will find a match for me,” he said.
Hajam’s former lawyer Aijaz Ahmad says that he was appearing for him in the court for many years. “After following the case continuously for years, he (Hajam) missed the hearings for the past three years which led the court to dismiss his case,” he said.
“He (Hajam) used to come to the court regularly but missed the date when his case was listed. He would show up at his own will and not on the due date. I don’t know who is attending his case right now but I think he has not hired any lawyer for a few years,” he said.
Hajam says that a judge has assured him that his case would be settled. “I will get justice one day,” he says.