The Madras High Court has asked the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to pay Rs.25,000 as compensation to a conservancy worker for denying him regularisation of service for years and seeking to harass him by appealing against a court verdict that directed his appointment as a subordinate staff member.

C. Nagaraj was appointed as “permanent part-time scavenger” in 1988 in LIC and was working for more than 24 years in Coimbatore. As his services were not regularised, he approached the court in 2004. The court gave him a favourable order on March 12, 2012, but his happiness was short-lived. LIC filed an appeal immediately before a division bench. Dismissing LIC’s appeal, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam observed: “This is undoubtedly a pathetic case where a person working in the office of LIC as permanent part-time scavenger for more than 24 years, was denied regularisation on some technical grounds. The further irony is that he appeared in the written examination conducted by LIC and passed the examination with flying colours, but his results were withheld. He also possessed the requisite qualification for appointment as a sub-staff.”

A person who manually cleaned the dirt and waste of the staff of the Corporation has been denied regularisation on mere technical grounds, the Bench observed.

Concurring with the single judge’s view, the Bench said the direction to LIC to publish the result of Mr. Nagarajan and to appoint him as sub-staff, if he was otherwise qualified, was perfectly justified. “The writ appeal by LIC is wholly misconceived and without any basis.”

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