Court convened in East China's Anhui Province yesterday for the country's first case involving the rights of carriers of the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
The hearing started at 8:30 am and concluded at 11:50 am. The collegian bench of the court will confer in private and announce the results as soon as possible, Zheng Wenbin told China Daily.
Zheng is the chief judge of the case and also one member of the collegian bench.
The plaintiff is Zhang Xianzhu, who is a carrier, and the accused is the Personnel Affairs Bureau of Wuhu in Anhui.
The accused rejected Zhang's application in the middle of this year for a public servant's position in the general office of the government of Wuhu.
Zhang got excellent results in the national entrance examination for public service employment and contends he was rejected by the authorities because he is a carrier of the hepatitis B virus.
Zhang subsequently sued the accused in the People's Court of Xinwu District of Wuhu.
Zhang said the crux of his case comes down to whether the local health examination standards for public service employment, which the Wuhu government follows, violate the country's relevant laws or regulations.
Another issue is whether rejection of the plaintiff's application as a public servant violated relevant laws or regulations.
Experts estimate there are more than 100 million HBV carriers in China.
While there are no national laws or regulations clearly stipulating that HBV carriers cannot join the public service,many local governments and departments of the central governments have issued their own regulations to bar HBV carriers.
In China, there is a well known website established by HBV carriers --www.hbvhbv.com -- where more than 20,000 carriers have registered and called for protection of their rights to employment and other social benefits.
(China Daily December 20, 2003)