Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed the state authorities to take immediate steps to approve the appointment of a man who will attain superannuation in December after working as a tax collecting ‘sarkar’ of a municipal body for over 26 years.
Joydev Char, the petitioner, is at present receiving salary as per the West Bengal government’s pay scale relevant to the post, his lawyer told the court.
Justice Amrita Sinha ordered the director of local bodies to take “immediate steps” for approving the appointment of the petitioner taking into consideration a recommendation letter issued in his favour by Asansol Municipal Corporation in 2015.
Disposing of the petition, Sinha directed that the steps be taken positively within six weeks of the communication of the order.
Noting that there is little more than two months’ time left for the man’s retirement, the court said that any delay on the part of the authorities to approve the appointment will impede the processing of his pension file and other terminal benefits.
The court noted that the petitioner’s pension papers cannot be processed due to non-approval of his service.
The process for recruitment of tax collecting ‘sarkar’ was initiated by Neamatpur notified area authority and concluded by Kulti municipality, the court noted. Char’s name was sent by the employment exchange and a formal appointment letter was issued to him by the municipality in April, 1997. He is due to retire in December this year, the court noted.
Kulti municipality subsequently merged with Asansol Municipal Corporation and Char is at present its employee, his counsel submitted.
A report filed by the deputy director of local bodies said that relevant documents pertaining to the recruitment, including the approval by the board of councillors are not available. But the interview letter, appointment letter and the joining letter of the petitioner are available.
The deponent stated in the report that the case of the petitioner can be considered if Asansol Municipal Corporation recommends it with the approval of its board of councillors for the appointment.
The court noted that a request for the approval of Char’s appointment by the civic body in 2015 had not been considered.
“After rendering service for so many years, the authorities ought not to take the stand that on account of unavailability of relevant documents, the case of the petitioner cannot be considered,” it observed.
An employee is entitled to receive terminal benefits immediately upon retirement, the judge said.