Legal Correspondent

Accommodation cancellation quashed

  • Poor employees denied housing for roaming around in vest and underwear
  • Differential treatment illegal

    New Delhi: To be poor in this country as well being a low-paid employee in the Railways is a curse, the Central Administrative Tribunal said expressing its anguish at the Railway Ministry cancelling accommodation granted to lower grade staff on the ground that they were roaming around in vest and underwear and thereby causing nuisance to higher level officers in adjacent flats.

    Quashing cancellation of allotment of outhouses to Swami Nath and others in the capital with costs of Rs. 5,000, the CAT said: "the only reason, which is given, is that the presence and condition of the applicants, who are lowlypaid employees, was not in good taste to the higher officers who were occupying the officers' flats. If such a ground is the basis of denial of out-houses to the lowly paid employees like the applicants, it is most arbitrary, which is not expected from a welfare state and more particularly from the Railways, which is the biggest industry." Every government employee irrespective of his or her status had to be treated with respect and was entitled to all legal rights available. Differential treatment by the authorities at the behest of others who did not wish these employees to avail themselves of the rights merely because they were poor and roaming in vest and underwear "is illegal," the tribunal said.