The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has rapped UT inspector general of police (IGP) Tejinder Singh Luthra on his knuckles for what it called his ‘defiance’ for not appearing before the tribunal on September 29 in a case involving denial of pension to a UT constable’s widow.
The CAT on September 16 had directed Luthra to appear in person to explain non-compliance and disobedience of its order dated December 14, 2015.
“There is a general perception in public that police officials behave as if they are above the law while dealing with the public. That perception appears to be correct looking into the circumstances of this case,” the CAT observed.
“The respondent had the courage to send a reply to the legal notice got issued by the applicant for compliance with the order of the tribunal, asserting that family pension cannot be granted to the applicant. He acted in a manner as if he is above the law and courts. The very system of the administration of justice seems to be crumbling by such behaviour,” the CAT observed.
The tribunal in December last year had directed the officer to issue revised pension payment order for family pension to Jaswinder Kaur, widow of UT constable Sohan Singh, of Ludhiana within six weeks and to pay arrears in next four weeks.
The petitioner had averred that after the death of her husband, she was denied family pension by the UT home department. Instead of complying with the order, the police department on June 23 this year sent a reply to the legal notice of the applicant stating that her request for family pension cannot be exceeded.
The UT administration counsel had sought exemption for the IGP from appearing in person stating that the tribunal’s order was complied with by issuing letter to the accountant general for issuing family pension to the applicant.