A 30-year ride in courts
When Western Railway cashier Gyan Chand Chattar travelled First Class without authorisation and played cards with Railway Protection Force (RPF) jawans in 1979, he would not have imagined that it would cost him his job and much more, reports Satya Prakash.delhi Updated: Jun 03, 2009 01:01 IST
When Western Railway cashier Gyan Chand Chattar travelled First Class without authorisation and played cards with Railway Protection Force (RPF) jawans in 1979, he would not have imagined that it would cost him his job and much more.
Railway authorities first suspended him in November 1980 and then dismissed him from service in May 1981 following an enquiry.
He was indicted for unauthorised travel in a First Class compartment, playing cards with RPF jawans and acting irresponsibly when agitators detained the train.
Besides, he was charged with demanding 1 per cent commission from employees for payment of salaries, refusing to arrange payment of certain amount to employees and refusing to receive the memo issued by seniors.
But the appellate authority in November 1981 reduced his punishment from dismissal to demotion to the post of clerk in a lower pay scale.
What followed was an agonising court battle lasting almost three decades during which he did not receive his pay. But the Supreme Court finally came to his rescue.
“Today, the situation has become the worst. About three decades have elapsed, the respondent (Chattar) has not been given his pay since the date of his suspension (in November 1980), facing the disciplinary proceedings and litigation (in various courts), he reached the age of superannuation long back. It is in the interest of justice that his mental agony and harassment should come to an end," the apex court said.
A bench headed by Justice Mukundkam Sharma directed the Centre to pay 50 per cent of his pay and allowances without interest till he reached the age of superannuation and arrears of retirement benefits with 9 per cent interest to him within three months.
Senior advocate K.T.S. Tulsi told HT: "This is yet another example of needless litigation by the government, the biggest litigant in India. Such cases by the government only increase backlog and prolong the agony of poor employees. If the government carefully scrutinises files before filing cases, it could lead to reduction in arrears by at least 25 to 30 per cent."