Reader demands Rs. 50 lakh
KOZHIKODE: A former Reader of the Department of Library and Information Sciences of Calicut University has approached the Additional Chief Secretary of the Higher Education Department seeking compensation of Rs. 50 lakh for non-release of his pension and gratuity for over a year.
In a memorandum submitted to the Additional Chief Secretary last week, Raju M. Mathew, who retired from the university in May 2005, has sought compensation of Rs. 50 lakh “for the mental agony and humiliation he suffered apart from the financial loss because of the irresponsible action of the authorities.”
He said the pension, Death Cum Retirement Gratuity (DCRG) and pension commutation were withheld on the basis of an “illegal, arbitrary and irresponsible clarification issued by the Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department.” “I was denied even the minimum pension in violation of the verdicts of the Supreme Court of India,” Dr. Mathew said. Dr. Mathew said though he had approached the Lok Ayukta for justice, it refused to entertain his case on the ground that he had already retired from service. The university after withholding an amount of Rs 2.3 lakh from the DCRG and cutting the pension, released a meagre pension benefit after a year.
Dr. Mathew said he had also approached Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Minister for Education M.A. Baby to get the pension benefits. He filed a petition under the Right to Information Act asking why the Additional Chief Secretary had issued an order violating the UGC scheme. He also sought clarification on the Government Order which cancelled the pay fixation provision. The Department re-issued a clarification in July 2007.
Dr. Mathew has also initiated steps with regard to withholding his promotion as Professor with effect from March 2000.
He said he had to wait for over two years to get his eligible pension benefits and that he had incurred heavy loss in a land deal.
Dr. Mathew is a renowned strategist. His papers have been accepted by the UNESCO, Geneva-based International Forum for Information Processing, the Hague-based Federation Internationale de- Documentation and the Government of India.