THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has issued orders restoring the seniority and benefits of an AG’s Office staffer, who had faced suspension during the agitations in the AG’s Office, Thiruvananthapuram in 2006, over private contracts issued for pension revision work. The complainant, S V Santhoshkumar, who was also a leader of the Audit and Accounts Association, had retired last July as an assistant audit officer (on deputation) at the AG’s Office.
Santhoshkumar had been promoted as senior accountant in 1991, but following the strikes at the office in 2006, he was placed on suspension. Although he was subsequently reinstated, he faced disciplinary action and was downgraded as accountant in 2008 for three years.
Following a Supreme Court order, the penalty period was reduced to two years, but he was not reinstated as senior accountant. Further, his increments were blocked for another three years allegedly as a punishment for participating in agitations.
In March 2013, he was appointed as senior accountant, but his prior seniority was denied. His demand that his seniority also should be restored fell on deaf ears, and he approached the CAT in 2014. The CAT Ernakulam bench has now ordered that Santhoshkumar’s benefits and seniority dating from March 2010 be restored.