TAMIL NADU

NLC settles Rs. 3.23 crores towards gratuity claims

By Our Special

Correspondent

CUDDALORE, APRIL 24. As many as 503 claims for enhanced gratuity of retired employees were cleared and relief of Rs. 3.23 crores disbursed during the three-day session of the third Lok Adalat held at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation Training Complex near here that began on April 21.

Retired Madras High Court Judge E. Padmanabhan, chaired the session, held under aegis of the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority. Nathamuni, a retired District Judge, A.J. Muruganandam, member, TNSLSA, and Jeyanthi Ravichandran, social worker, are other members of the Adalat, a NLC release said.

The NLC Director (Personnel), R. Narashiman, the Chief Manager (Personnel & Administration), P. Babu Rao, the Chief Law Officer, R.Venkatachalapathi, and several executives, were present.

The NLC management had paid a gratuity of Rs. 1 lakh each, the maximum ceiling fixed as per the provisions of the Payment of Gratuity Act, to employees who retired during between April 1,1995 and September 23,1997.

Following an amendment to the Act, the ceiling was raised to Rs. 2.5 lakhs from September 24, 1997. Staking claim for enhanced gratuity, the retired employees had filed writ petitions in the High Court and the competent statutory authority.

To avoid hardship to them, the NLC management had released the enhanced amount as ex-gratia, but without interest, through the Lok Adalat, as directed by the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Justice B. Subashan Reddy.

So far, three Lok Adalat sessions were held and 1,155 claims to the tune of Rs. 6.78 crores settled.

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