D.S. Lakshman joined service in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in March 1976 as a daily wage worker. He was promoted as Second Division Assistant in October 1994 and continued to serve in that position till July 2010. As per the roster system, he should have been promoted as Assistant Revenue Officer. He died on July 4 this year, without any promotion or enjoying any additional financial benefit.
There are 80 such employees in the BBMP who have been denied rightful promotions and financial benefits. Several of these employees continue to work under the Second Division Clerk and First Division Assistant cadre even after several years of service. This, even after submitting 40 memorandums to the Government!
The issue even went up to the High Court in 2004, when 105 affected employees filed a writ petition. The High Court directed the BBMP in November 2005 to take action within three months. That is not all; even the Government intervened and issued an order, directing officials to promote the employees.
Although the former Commissioners of the BBMP Jothiramalingam and K. Jairaj directed the Administration Department to ensure the employees were promoted as per the seniority list, there were many who retired; some had even expired.
However, other employees used their offices and submitted their objections. The BBMP then formed a five-member committee to look into the issue, despite there being a court order and a government order in favour of the employees. “The committee, in its report, concluded that the GO must be implemented,” an employee told The Hindu.
The then Commissioner S. Subramanya directed officials to prepare a gradation list and later directed officials to get legal advice. The civic authority sought advice from senior legal advisor B.N. Nanjunda. The report was in favour of the wronged employees, again. Yet, the Administration Department chose to look the other way, disobeying the GO and High Court order. “There are around 20 cases pending before the High Court in this regard. The department seems to have framed different rules for the employees,” the employee said.
Leader of Opposition (Congress) in BBMP council M. Nagaraj told The Hindu that he had written 10 times to the Commissioner and Additional Commissioner (Administration). “Most employees have worked for over three decades and they joined as daily wage workers. After their services were regularised, they have not been promoted. Yet, the officials have turned a blind eye to this issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BBMP has again sought legal opinion on the issue. S.L. Manjunath, Deputy Commissioner (Administration), said this was “an administrative lapse.” “We will take corrective action soon after the legal expert submits his opinion,” he said.