MP man wins 13-year case over ‘underage marriage’, gets state job at 48
Selected as Madhya Pradesh naib tehsildar at the age of 48, man says he was a victim of false underage marriage charges.bhopal Updated: May 31, 2017 09:08 IST
Ajay Kumar Parsandiya will finally become a naib tehsildar at the age of 48. It has taken the Madhya Pradesh resident 13 years of legal wrangling to prove his innocence in a case of “underage marriage” that cost him the coveted job in the first place.
As a student, Ajay dreamt of becoming an administrative officer, but his parents made the mistake of marrying him off at the age of 20-and-half, just six months short of the legal marriage age of 21.
Burdened with a family even before he could complete his studies in 1989, this resident of Dabra town in Gwalior district took up a teaching job to make ends meet. But he continued to work on his dreams.
At the age of 35, Ajay cleared the mains examination of the state administrative services—2004 conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission (MPPSC). His long-cherished dream had come true.
But his joy was short-lived, as he never got called for the interview. Fearing the call letter may have got lost in transit by the postal service Ajay travelled 550 km to the MPPSC office in Indore, only to be given the shattering news – that he lost the job because of his “underage marriage”.
According to MP Civil Services Rules, 1961, a candidate is ineligible for appointment to a service or post if he gets married before the minimum age fixed for marriage. The minimum age of marriage for a boy is 21 years while that for a girl is 18 years.
The family consoled him, asking him to move on, but Ajay decided to fight against the injustice done to him due to the rule.
“I didn’t want to let my dream to go unfulfilled. I moved the Gwalior bench of the high court then the Jabalpur High Court but I lost the case. I then moved the Supreme Court,” says Ajay.
He spent all his savings on the 10-year long legal battle and won the case in 2015. The apex court said the groom and bride should be considered as victims not accused for the under-age marriage.
“Despite the verdict, MPPSC didn’t call for my interview. I again moved the court and filed a contempt plea. Finally, I won in March 2017,” says Ajay.
The MPPSC conducted a special interview for him and the result was announced on May 9 and he was selected for the post of naib tehsildar at the age of 48 years.
Lauding Ajay’s fighting spirit, his son Ashutosh says: “This year I too have cleared the prelims of the State Administrative Services and I am happy that my father’s dream could be fulfilled before mine.”