MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has come to the rescue of a victim of official apathy.
This time, it is a 74-year-old former school teacher, S. Radhakrishnan of Thanjavur, who is yet to receive his pension and back wages for the period when he was wrongly terminated from service in 1985.
Resolving a dispute between the Joint Director of School Education and the school management over the liability to pay the back wages, a Division Bench, comprising Justices Prafulla Kumar Misra and P.R. Shivakumar, held that the management was solely responsible for disbursing the amount.
The Judges pointed out that the termination order was invalid because it was passed without obtaining prior permission from the Joint Director. In such circumstances, the school management could not claim that its institution was aided by the Government and so the back wages should be paid by the latter.
On the management’s contention that the Joint Director had once agreed that the amount shall be paid by the Government, the Bench said: “Even assuming that the observation of the Joint Director was to the effect that the entire amount has to be paid by the Government, such an observation cannot be considered as binding... The Government cannot be made liable to pay the back wages for an illegal act committed by the aided school.”
The liability of the State was limited only to the extent of paying pension to the petitioner, the Judges said and directed the officials concerned to disburse the pension within three months. Similarly, the school management was also directed to pay the back wages within the same period.