The Madras High Court has granted interim stay of all further proceedings pursuant to an order of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) in September 2008 reducing the basic pay of a conductor for alleged misconduct.

Justice T.S. Sivagnanam passed the order on a writ petition by the conductor who stated that the order was illegal and arbitrary. The Judge ordered notice.

One charge against A. Chandran, who was working in Villupuram Division II, Vellore, for the past 19 years, was that he made corrections in the entries on sale of tickets in the invoices in October 2007 and misappropriated money. This was found out while re-auditing the relevant records.

The second charge was that he had obtained sold tickets from passengers and issued them to other passengers.

The petitioner submitted that nowhere in the standing orders was there any indication to reduce the existing basic pay to the minimum time scale of pay, except a provision regarding recovery from pay.

He sought to quash the corporation's order dated September 17, 2008, by which his basic pay of Rs.9535 has been reduced to the minimum of Rs.5305 for five years.