Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madras Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal has imposed a cost of Rs.3, 000 on Southern Railway for tampering with official documents to justify non-payment of service benefits to a retired gangman.

Presiding over the Bench, vice-chairman Justice P. Shanmugam expressed dismay over the "non-application of mind" by railway officials who initially issued an erroneous pension payment order and corrected it later through another order. The Bench quashed the revised pension payment order that had declared forfeit 17 years of service put in by the gangman prior to April 1985, and directed the officials to recalculate the retirement benefits from his induction in September 1967 till his retirement in April 2005. The difference of amount shall be paid to the former employee within three months.

Pointing out that only the President was empowered to grant leave for more than five years, the Railways relied upon a "tampered" leave chart to prove that the former employee was absent during the period from February 1980 to April 1985, considered a break in service.