Corporation framing guidelines to deal with such cases

After learning that a driver was wrongfully placed under suspension for months on criminal charges not related to his job, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has not only revoked the suspension, but also began framing guidelines to deal with such cases.

Mahadevaswamy, a driver attached to the Nanjangud depot in the Chamarajanagar division of the KSRTC, was placed under suspension from July 1, 2012, after the police booked a case of murder against him and his family for the unnatural death of his wife Gowramma.

Judicial custody

He was in judicial custody from July 1 to September 3, 2012, during which he was deemed to be under suspension as the custody extended beyond 48 hours. The Chamarajanagar divisional controller even initiated a departmental inquiry against him on October 12, 2012, charging him with conduct unbecoming of an employee of the corporation.

KSRTC Staff and Workers Federation took up his cause and asked the management how a criminal case booked by the police amounted to misconduct.

Federation’s stand

Federation general secretary H.V. Ananthasubba Rao wrote to the KSRTC managing director saying that at the time of the suicide, Mr. Mahadevaswamy was driving a bus, and on learning about the death, he went to his house after obtaining the depot manager’s permission.

However, the depot manager and divisional controller acted in a casual manner and suspended him.

The worker was being paid 50 per cent of the salary for no work. Public money was wasted on departmental inquiry. Mr. Rao asked if the police filed a case not connected with their employment, how the department could take action against him.

He demanded revocation of Mr. Mahadevaswamy’s suspension and payment of his arrears.

KSRTC Managing Director N. Manjunatha Prasad told The Hindu that the divisional controller had been directed to revoke the suspension. “Guidelines are being framed to deal with cases unconnected to the job,” he said.

“While in police or judicial custody beyond 48 hours entails deemed suspension, once the employee is out on bail, he should be taken back on a representation. When the employee is awarded punishment by a court of law, guidelines applicable to State government employees will apply to him also,” Mr. Prasad said.

Show-cause notices

He said show-cause notices would be issued to the divisional controller and other officials. Depending on their reaction, further action would be taken, he said.