Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Employees can't be "terminated from service after retirement"

Employees can't be "terminated from service after retirement"

Staff Reporter

Court imposes Rs. 3,000 cost on State Government

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has ruled that Government employees cannot be terminated from service, with retrospective effect, after their retirement.

Allowing a writ petition filed by the widow of a Government surgeon, Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar said, "Power of termination is available only if a person continues in employment. Terminating the service of the petitioner's husband from the date of his superannuation (June 30, 1994) that too after four years (on March 3, 1998) is totally arbitrary, illegal and contrary to the service rules."

Refusing to accept the stand taken by the Government, the Judge said it could not terminate the service of the deceased employee merely because he was appointed temporarily in 1969. He said the Tamil Nadu Pension Rules, 1978 stipulate that even temporary employees who had put in more than 10 years of service were entitled to pension.

Hence, the Health and Family Welfare Secretary was directed to disburse pension arrears due to the surgeon from July 1, 1994 till his death on March 27, 2002. Thereafter, the family pension due to the petitioner should be calculated and paid within eight weeks.

In view of the fact that the surgeon was denied pension during his lifetime and his widow had to resort to litigation due to the "erroneous" decision taken by the officials, the Judge imposed a cost of Rs. 3,000 on the Government to be paid to the petitioner.

In her affidavit, the petitioner, M. Sarojini of Sankarankovil in Tirunelveli, said her husband K.R. Muthubabu was appointed an Assistant Surgeon in the Madras Medical Service in 1969 on a temporary basis. In 1991, he was placed under suspension following a criminal case initiated against him for allegedly creating forged documents to obtain the monetary benefits given to people who underwent vasectomy.

Subsequently, the High Court quashed the charges and he was allowed to continue in service until his retirement in 1994. But the officials refused to disburse his monthly pension and hence he filed a petition before the State Administrative Tribunal. The surgeon died in 2002 and his wife pursued the case. In the meantime, the tribunal was abolished and the case was transferred to the Madurai Bench as a writ petition.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Date:14/12/2006 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2006/12/14/stories/2006121402770500.htm

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