It's a rare exception to an employee's fight for his rights against a government department.
Despite the Supreme Court dismissing a retired DDA junior engineer Rajeshwar Nath Dhawan's plea, the government is considering his grievance regarding pension, gratuity and other post-retirement benefits.
When Dhawan retired in 1994 after 13 years of service in the DDA, all he expected was a quiet and relaxed life. But what ensued over the next 20 years shows nothing but his relentless grit to take on an insensitive system.The DDA was his last employer but not the first one. Before that he had worked with the Railway Ministry for 24 years.
Although he was given the benefit of pay protection in 1991, but his pension is still being calculated on the basis of only 13 years of service with DDA and not on the combined service of almost 38 years, including his stint in the Railway Ministry.
Fed up with the non-responsive attitude of the DDA, Dhawan moved the Delhi High Court in 1990. The court ruled that the DDA should give Dhawan all pensionary benefits based on his combined service in the Railway Ministry and the DDA.
But the DDA challenged the order before a Division Bench leading to a protracted legal battle. Finally, the Supreme Court dismissed Dhawan's plea in 2010.
But even after the dismissal of his plea, 75-year old Dhawan refused to relent and approached the Ministry of Urban Development. The ministry has now directed the DDA to take necessary action to resolve the issue. It even asked the DDA to take up the matter with the Department of Personnel and Training in case, it was unable to resolve the same.
"My claims are supported by Office Memorandums of 1984 and 1987 issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions relating to the term of combined service," Dhawan says, holding up the directives among his carefully kept archives of the continuing legal battle.
Complaining that he had been discriminated against, he pointed out that two other similarly-placed DDA employees got the same benefits of pay protection and retirement dues.
At 75, Dhawan spends much of his post-retirement time making representations to DDA and other government departments and attending court hearings for receiving his rightful pension and benefits.
"I have got several judgments but no justice. But this time I hope to get justice," says Dhawan.