July 2, 2021 8:44:55 am
The Madras High Court has imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on the officials of the School Education department for not providing a job to a legal heir on compassionate grounds, even after 22 years.
Justice R Mahadevan imposed the cost recently, while passing orders on a writ petition from T Aruljothi of Tiruppur district seeking to quash a rejection order passed in 2016 and to provide a job to her.
After quashing the rejection order dated July 27, 2016, the judge reverted the matter to the authorities concerned for fresh consideration on merits and in accordance with law and also in the light of a recent GO which supersedes all the earlier orders issued from 1972.
The exercise should be completed within two months.
The cost of Rs 1 lakh imposed on the authorities, who were instrumental in passing the rejection order, should be recovered from their salaries and paid to the petitioner within six months, the judge added.
The petitioner’s father died in February 1998, while working as a PG Assistant in the Government Higher Secondary School, leaving behind his wife, two daughters and a son.
The petitioner’s mother made an application seeking compassionate ground appointment to her son, the same month. But it was rejected on the ground that only the first legal heir could make the claim.
She sent another application seeking the appointment to her second daughter Arul Jothi. She stated that her first daughter was already married. But the plea was rejected on wrong premises in July, 2016. Hence, the present petition.
Though the petitioner’s mother made the second application seeking compassionate appointment to the petitioner, even after the rejection of the first representation within the limitation period of three years, the authorities have acted in a clandestine manner and rejected the same after a long period of 15 years.
This Court is of the view that such a cavalier approach of the officials concerned in discharging their statutory duties would dent the societal interest and the same has to be seriously viewed, the judge said.
“Judiciary has a special and additional duty to perform, viz., to oversee that all individuals and institutions including the executive and the legislature act within the framework of not only the law but also the fundamental law of the land.”
“This duty is apart from the function of adjudicating the disputes between the parties which is essential to peaceful and orderly development of the society”, the judge observed.
Taking note of the factual matrix, wherein the respondent authorities failed to discharge their duties within a reasonable time, thereby causing undue mental agony to the petitioner, the judge said he is inclined to impose the cost on the officials, who were responsible for such lapses.
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