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Balin Hazarika v/s Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Represented by Chairman & Managing Director, New Delhi & Others

    Original Application No. 040/00106 of 2019
    Decided On, 18 November 2021
    At, Central Administrative Tribunal Guwahati Bench Guwahati
    For the Applicant: S.K. Sikidar, Advocate. For the Respondents: B. Pathak, Advocate.

Judgment Text
Order (Oral):

1. This O.A. was finally heard on 18.11.2019. After giving opportunity of being heard to both the parties, the O.A. was allowed with no order as to costs.

2. In this O.A., applicant is asking for the following reliefs:-

8.1 That the Hon’ble Tribunal may be pleased to set aside and quash the impugned order dated 28.01.2019.

8.2 That the Hon’ble Tribunal may be pleased to direct the respondents to grant pensioner benefits and settle pension case.

8.3 That the Hon’ble Tribunal may further be pleased to grant any further or other relief that it deems fit in the interest of natural justice.”

3. The applicant in the instant case was initially engaged as casual Mazdoor in the Department of Telecom during 1981. In 1989, he was conferred with Temporary Status Mazdoor and regularized in the service since 01.04.1993. Thereafter, he got promoted to the post of Telecom Mechanic vide order dated 10.01.2000 and continuously working in the same post of Group-C till 01.08.2018. After regularization, applicant’s service book was opened by Accounts Officer with all the requisite information including date of birth certificate. His date of birth has been recorded as 30.03.1960. However, subsequently it has been discovered that as per calculation with reference to his educational certificate, his date of birth should have been recorded as 30.03.1957 instead of 30.03.1960. Consequently, he has been terminated from his service retrospectively vide order No. E- 52/Superannuation/Non-Executive/2018-19/143 dated 29.09.2018, Annexure-A7 to the O.A. He also has been directed to refund an amount of Rs. 8,39,305/- vide order No. QH-103/PF/2018/20 dated 28.01.2019 on account of over payment of pay and allowances for the period that he was allegedly to continue to stay in service. Hence the grievance.

4. The respondent authorities filed their written statement on 13.11.2019. Among others, they admitted at para 6 as under:-

“There has been some amount of dereliction of duty and lapses on the part of few officers of BSNL in the helm of affairs in taking action in appropriate manner as per requirement of law. The lapses on the part of few officers of the department however, would not absolve the applicant from the liability casts on his part. The authority of BSNL has, therefore, contemplated and initiated necessary disciplinary action against such erring officers keeping in view that the public money at the costs of the State exchequer may be allowed to be drained out in such manner to the tune of Rs. 8,39,305/-. The motto of BSNL is to recover the money in either way as it may be.”

5. After hearing both parties, it has come out very clearly that mistake of indicating date of birth correctly was definitely on the part of the respondent authorities. There is no any evidence that the applicant had any role in indicating his date of birth as 30.03.1960 instead of 30.03.1957. The respondent authorities also has indicated above that there has been some amount of dereliction of duty and lapses on the part of few officers of BSNL in their helm of affairs in taking action in appropriate manners as per requirement of law. Moreover, it is a matter of fact on record that inspite of this mistake on the part of the respondent authorities, the applicant did work during the period in which he is alleged to over stay in service. During this period, he is definitely entitled to pay and allowances as admissible.

6. Considering the above facts, O.A. is hereby allowed. The impugned o

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rder No. QH-103/PF/2018/20 dated 28.01.2019 is hereby set aside and quashed. Respondents are directed to release all admissible terminal benefits to the applicant including his pension and gratuity within a period of three months from the date of receipt a copy of this order. This is in line with our judgment and order dated 07.08.2018 in O.A. No. 040/00260/2018 of similar case. No order as to costs.