|Doubt over date of birth after beneficiary's demise|
MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ruled that the Government cannot deny terminal benefits due to its employees, by raising doubts over the date of birth, after their demise.
Allowing a writ petition moved by the wife of a former employee of Government Rajaji Hospital here, Justice K. Suguna pointed out that the officials had not initiated any proceedings against the petitioner's husband during his service period between 1965 and 2001.
The doubt over his date of birth was raised for the first time only after his death on March 27, 2001, just two months short of retirement.
Even as per the Tamil Nadu Civil Service (D&A) Rules, a disciplinary proceeding initiated against a Government employee would stand abated after his / her death.
On the other ground raised by the Additional Government Pleader that the petitioner's husband was on unauthorised absence from 1965 until his death in 2001, the Judge said that there were no documents to prove that a disciplinary proceeding was initiated against him or that he was served with a termination order for his misconduct. Hence, she directed the Director of Medical Education to disburse the monetary benefits within three months.
According to the hospital authorities, the date of birth of the deceased employee was mentioned as May 18, 1939 in his school certificate whereas the service register showed it as May 18, 1941.
The attempt to ascertain the truth from the school officials failed, as the old records were not available for scrutiny.
Hence, the terminal benefits were not disbursed to the petitioner.
The petitioner's counsel, V.J. Kumaravel, contended that his client was eligible to receive the benefits since her husband had served the hospital for more than 30 years. But the officials refused to disburse the money on "untenable" grounds, he said.
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