January 14, 2009 12:09:24 am
It took more than two years for the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to start giving pension to D K Shukla,a former employee who retired in 2006. He was,however,forced to approach the Central Information Commission (CIC) for spurring the public body into action.
The wait is still not over for Shukla,as he is yet to be provided with information about the delay in payment of his pension,and when he can expect to receive the unpaid amount of his provident fund.
The CIC has reproached the DTC and has sent a notice to its chairman asking him as to why a compensation of Rs 5 lakh should not be awarded to the complainant for their lapses. This whole episode is a commentary on the unsatisfactory working of officers of the public authority dealing with pension. Its important that correctives are urgently applied, Information commissioner A N Tiwari said in a recent decision.
The commission was hearing a second appeal by Shukla,who has not received a response from the DTC on previous occasions. Apart from his queries on the hold up regarding his pension benefits following his retirement in February 2006,he had sought a list of officials who had opted for pensions in 1992 and his pension records.
Notably,it was only after his complaint in 2007 that the DTC officials became active in settling dues and releasing money to the complainant. Shukla started receiving his pension last year.
His provident fund was also subsequently released but,according to Shukla,it was less by Rs 67,000,which remains unpaid till date,and no explanation has been offered for this.
During previous hearings,the CIC had issued notices to various departments urging them to resolve the issue and trace the file sought by Shukla but to no avail. The departments reportedly kept passing the buck,contending that the file should be with the other wing. Taking a stern view of the DTC officials responses,the information panel stated,A perusal of the reply shows that the Accounts,the Personnel and the Pension Branches of the public authority had been tossing the ball from one department to another. Finally,the information was found to be untraceable by all three branches.
The commission also found substance in the contention concerning the interest on the money withheld by the DTC and stated,By holding up his provident fund,the respondents have themselves benefited from the interest accrual on that money,which legitimately belongs to the complainant.
The DTC chairman was also directed to institute an inquiry into the loss of relevant records and affix responsibility of those guilty of the lapses.
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