“To suit present day scenario”
The Madras High Court has said that leave for government servants going abroad must be streamlined to suit the present day scenario and to avoid any misuse.
As per a circular of the railways, its employees can avail themselves of leave for one year for visiting close relatives undergoing medical treatment abroad. Stating that such a long leave would affect the administration, the Bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and N. Kirubakaran dismissed a writ petition filed by a railway employee who was removed from service for not rejoining duty even after the lapse of her long leave.
“Taking into consideration the advanced medical facilities available in India, such long leave is to be reviewed by the administration by streamlining the guidelines to suit the present day scenario and to avoid any misuse of it in public interest. Otherwise, there is every possibility of the concession being misused by a section of government servants” the judges said.
About 12 years ago, R. Jasmine, who was working as head clerk in Southern Railway, applied for two years’ ex-India leave on medical grounds to go to Australia for the medical treatment of her father.
However, the railway authorities sanctioned the leave for six months from January 8, 2001. Thereafter, the leave was extended for another period of six months. After the leave expired, she did not rejoin duty even after the railways asked her to do so. After initiating departmental proceedings against her, the railways removed her from service on September 25, 2003.
She challenged her removal before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and also sought to consider her plea for voluntary retirement. In 2008, the CAT Bench held that the order of removal could not be set aside as she failed to appear for the enquiry. It also said that she was not entitled to VRS. Hence, she filed the present writ petition before the Madras High Court.