Reinstated government servants entitled to back wages: High Court

Government servants suspended or dismissed from service on being convicted in criminal cases and subsequently reinstated following their acquittal by a higher judicial forum are entitled to arrears of pay and allowances for the period of their absence from duty, the Madras High Court has held. A Division Bench of Justice Chitra Venkataraman and Justice M. Duraiswamy came to the conclusion on the basis of Fundamental Rules governing certain service conditions of government employees. The judgement was passed while allowing a writ appeal filed in the Madurai Bench by a Village Administrative Officer (VAO) from Tiruchi. The writ appeal was directed against a portion of an order passed by a single judge of the High Court on February 1, 2008. Disposing of a writ petition, the Judge had directed the authority concerned to reinstate the VAO in service following his acquittal from corruption charges but refused to order payment of back wages. Differing with the view taken by him, the Division Bench said that Rule 54 (2) of the Fundamental Rules stipulates disbursement of pay and allowances to a government servant who had been exonerated of charges levelled against him. The period of suspension, removal or compulsory retirement should be treated as period spent on duty. In the present case, the appellant V. Pitchai said that he joined government service as a VAO in 1984. The Tiruchi Revenue Divisional Officer suspended him in 1999 following the registration of a corruption case by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption sleuths. But no disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him. On conclusion of trial, the Tiruchi Chief Judicial Magistrate convicted him in the corruption case on October 14, 2004. The judgement was taken on appeal before the High Court. Pending adjudication of the appeal, the RDO passed an order on November 16, 2004 dismissing the VAO from service. The High Court on September 27, 2007 reversed the conviction and exonerated the appellant of all charges. But, a month later, the RDO rejected the appellant’s plea to reinstate him in service on the strength of the acquittal order and hence the writ petition and the present writ appeal. SOURCE:The Hindu

Rail staff satisfied with their work

They may be working under tough conditions overcoming all sorts of arduous tasks and odd schedules to keep the trains chugging round the clock, but that has not stopped them from enjoying their job, a latest survey by Indian Railways has said.
According to the survey, majority of the 8,255 staff, who participated in it, said they were satisfied with their work, with the satisfaction level ranging from 'highly satisfied' to 'averagely satisfied'. Only 78 responded in the negative, said the survey which was carried out for the first time with respondents including from locomotive drivers, guards and senior-level officials. The respondents were from the Delhi division which is considered one of the busiest in the country handling over 700 passenger services each day.
"The findings shows Railways have, after all, been able to live up to their expectations as far as helping them lead a satisfactory life is concerned," a senior railway official said While 1,028 employees said they were 'highly satisfied' with what they were doing, 2,576 said they were 'very satisfied'. Total number of staff in the 'average satisfied' category was 4,573. . The survey also had questions like 'whether the staff had any problem with their subordinates and superiors?' When asked 'if any personal problem came in their working?' about 88 percent said 'no'.
The official said the salary component may have also played a big role in determining the level of satisfaction. "The survey was carried out in the backdrop of global recession when there were large salary cuts and job losses. At least they did not have to worry about both of these," he said. Indian Railways, which is the largest employer in the country, is carrying out similar surveys across all its zones.
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