Transfer IAS officer to non-sensitive post: HC

The former Corpn commissioner had filed incorrect statement in court
Madras High Court (File photo| EPS)
Madras High Court (File photo| EPS)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the State government to post R Lalitha, IAS, the then Commissioner of Corporation of Chennai, to a non-sensitive one for filing an incorrect statement in the court in connection with a case relating to rejection of a job application. 

The contra statement made by the then Commissioner with regard to receipt of certificates from the aspirant in the counter affidavit is highly deprecated, Justice S Vaidyanathan has said. “Lalitha, IAS, who was the then Commissioner in-charge, made such an incorrect statement in the counter affidavit. Of course, though the counter affidavit would have been drafted by her subordinate with the assistance of the Corporation counsel, being an IAS officer, it is her bounden duty to ascertain the entire facts before ascribing her signature.

Therefore, this Court is of the view that for no fault of the petitioner, he cannot be made to languish for more than a decade and he is entitled to be appointed on compassionate ground,” the judge said. The court was allowing a writ petition from K Padmanabhan challenging an order of the Assistant Commissioner/Zonal Officer in Kilpauk dated December 1, 2010, by which his request for compassionate appointment was rejected on the ground that the application was submitted belatedly after expiry of three years.

The judge also made it clear that in this order, he is not directing the authorities to consider the appointment of the petitioner on compassionate grounds as being done in the normal case, but specifically directs them to provide the employment. Though it is a fit case to impose cost of not less than `10,000 on the then Commissioner Lalitha, this Court refrains itself from doing so, instead it is directed that she shall be posted only in a non-sensitive post.

He directed the Corporation to provide employment to the petitioner on compassionate ground on or before the end of November this year. In case the petitioner is not provided employment on or before the expiry date, he is deemed to have entered in service from September 01, 2020, and he is entitled to the salary of last grade employee, which could be recovered from the officer responsible to comply with the order, the judge said.

Since the Corporation has not come with clean hands, pendency of the case does not come in the way of the petitioner for counting the past period. As per the counter affidavit, the petitioner made three applications in the year 2008, of which, the last one was dated September 19, 2008, and therefore, he is deemed to have entered into service from this date. However, he is not entitled to any service benefits, seniority, wages and the like and the period will be taken into account only for the purpose of gratuity and pensionary benefits, as if he joined the service and for that purpose alone, he should be treated to be in continuous service, the judge added.

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