Bombay High Court questions language criterion for director of fire services

Updated: Feb 07, 2020, 21:03 IST | PTI | Mumbai

It would not be right to burden the Chief Fire Officer with additional responsibility, the court said

Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court on Friday said it was not necessary to make proficiency in Marathi a mandatory qualification "at the threshold" while appointing the director of Maharashtra Fire Services. A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and R I Chagla was irked when it was told that the post was vacant since December 2014.

It was hearing public interest litigation filed by activist Sharmila Ghughe on the issue of fire safety rules. One of the criteria for the director's post is that the candidate should be proficient in Marathi, it was informed.

"The state government would be advised to relax this condition that the candidate should know Marathi. At the threshold, making it mandatory is not required. The candidate can learn the language later," Justice Dharmadhikari said. The bench noted that since December 2014 the Chief Fire Officer of Mumbai has been given additional charge as director of the state fire services.

It would not be right to burden the Chief Fire Officer with additional responsibility, the court said. "The duty of the director of Maharashtra Fire Services is to ensure that fire-fighting equipment and life-saving measures are made available," it noted.

The court asked senior government officials to look into the issue, posting the next hearing after two weeks.

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