Octogenarian argues case himself
Mohamed Imranullah S.
|Obtains favourable orders after 45 years of his resignation
“Consider petitioner's plea for pension within four weeks”
He applied for pension and gratuity in 2003
MADURAI: S. Sankaran, an 83-year-old former school teacher of Tirunelveli, was the cynosure of all eyes in the Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday as he succeeded in obtaining favourable orders in a petition seeking monthly pension for the service he rendered 45 years ago!
What's more, the octogenarian argued the case himself in English without the aid of any lawyer.
Disposing of the writ petition filed by him, Justice R.S. Ramanathan directed the Accountant General (Accounts and Entitlement) to consider the petitioner's plea for pension within four weeks. Otherwise, the officer would be liable to pay interest at the rate of 12 per cent from September 13, 2004, the date on which the pension proposal was received by him, till the date of payment.
According to the petitioner, he served as a weaving instructor from June 16, 1954 to August 1, 1964 in Hindu Elementary School at Karukuruchi and P.L.W.A. Higher Secondary School at Vickramasinghapuram.
He resigned the post after serving the schools for 10 years, one month and 18 days. The details were entered in his service register and there was no dispute over them. He applied for pension and gratuity in 2003. However, his plea was rejected by the Accountant General's office on January 11, 2010 on the ground that he was not eligible for pension as per the Tamil Nadu Non Government Teachers Pension Rules, 1958.
It was also pointed out that the petitioner was governed only by these rules because he had served in non-government aided institutions. Repudiating the reason given by the AG's office, the petitioner contended he was fully qualified for the benefit because he fulfilled the criterion enunciated in Rule 12(a) of the Pension Rules that a teacher should have served for a minimum of 10 years to claim pension.
He also pointed out that his resignation should be treated only as retirement in view of a judgement passed by the Supreme Court in 1990.
The apex court in J.K. Cotton Spinning and Weaving Mills's case Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh had held that the meaning of the term ‘resign' as found in the Oxford Dictionary included retirement.
SOURCE: THE HINDU 31.08.2010