Action sought as 90-year-old freedom fighter was allegedly denied audience with the district head

A 90-year-old freedom fighter was allegedly made to wait for three hours outside the Chennai collector’s chamber a week ago.

Later, he was denied an audience by the collector. A writ petition has now been filed before the Madras High Court to conduct an enquiry on a representation and initiate departmental action against the district head.

Justice K. Venkataraman, before whom the matter came up on Wednesday, ordered notice to the authorities, returnable by October 31.

In the petition, A.P. Suryaprakasam, an advocate of Royapettah here, said the freedom fighter, A. Palaniyappan, alias R.M.Y. Ramanathan, who had been imprisoned during the British rule, was already receiving the State government’s freedom fighters’ pension. Recently, the Centre had sanctioned pension for him.

He had gone to the Chennai collectorate on October 10 to get all the supporting documents attested by the collector’s subordinate. He was made to wait for more than three hours outside the collector’s chamber and was then denied an audience.

Mr. Suryaprakasam said that at least considering the age of the freedom fighter, the collector ought to have met him. The petitioner sent a representation to the collector to grant an audience to the freedom fighter.

But he had failed to act. The petitioner then sent a representation dated October 13 to the chief secretary to conduct an enquiry and initiate appropriate departmental action against the collector for ‘dereliction of duty.’

He prayed the court to issue a direction to the chief secretary to take action.

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