MADURAI: Pulling up the Director of Social Welfare Department for not promoting a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee for 18 years, the Madras High Court bench here has imposed a cost of `10,000 on the official.
Justice T Raja imposed the cost on a petition from I Jothi Gandhi, a Sri Lankan Tamil who had migrated to Tamil Nadu with his family in 1973. Gandhi was in November 1981 appointed as Office Assistant in the Social Welfare Department since he had cleared the GCE-Ordinary Level VIth Form exam in Ceylon, which was held to be equivalent to class XI (old SSLC) in TN. In January 1992, he was promoted as Junior Assistant. However, within two months he was reverted as Office Assistant on the grounds that he did not have the educational qualification. Again in June 2010, he was considered for the post of Junior Assistant and transferred to the Combined Child Development Plan Office (West) in Madurai. Though the District Educational Officer upheld the equivalence of his educational qualification, the Director of Social Welfare passed a conditional order a day before Gandhi’s retirement. As per this, the petitioner was asked to produce documents to support his educational qualification failing which all monetary benefits given to him for the post of Junior Assistant would be recovered. Later his retirement benefits were withheld prompting him to move the court.
Passing orders, Justice Raja said that all documents were in favour of Gandhi.