Thursday, August 22, 2013

Retirement Age 62 – Again denied in Parliament

Retirement Age 62 – Again denied in Parliament

While answering to a question in Parliament today on 22nd August 2013, the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Shri. V.Narayanasamy told that "At present there is no proposal to increase the age of retirement of Government employees".

He also included, as per fundamental Rules 56(a) except as otherwise provided, every Government servant shall retire on attaining the age of 60 years.

The formal announcement about this proposal was looked to be declared, a week before. Now, it has been denied once again by the Central Government in Parliament to not pursue the policy of increasing the age of retirement of Central Government staff.

CVC calls CBI to investigate fake LTC claims and the rackets behind

CVC calls CBI to investigate fake LTC claims and the rackets behind

Kolkata Police stumbled upon racket in March when they detained a flyer carrying more than 600 blank Air India Boarding Passes.

Air India's vigilance division began probe and found that govt employees were forging boarding passes and tickets and inflating fares.

In March, Rajya Sabha secretariat asked AI to look into seven tickets. All found to be fake mentioned non-existent business class for Port Blair. Each ticket priced at Rs.1.35 Lakh

Over 400 employees of Ordnance Factory Board allegedly flew to North East between 2006 and 2008. One forged ticket at Rs.2.11 lakh. Not clear how many actually travelled.

On Aug 16, Central Vigilance Commission asks CBI to probe raket.

News by Times of India:

NEW DELHI: The CBI has been called in by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to investigate a widespread racket in claims of leave travel concession (LTC) involving central government and public sector employees as well as travel agents.

The CBI, which was asked on August 16 by CVC to carry out a criminal investigation, is likely to question dozens of such employees. Large sums are said to have been siphoned out of the government by producing fake Air India tickets and boarding passes (the only airline that government and PSU employees are allowed to use for LTC).

A sizeable number are of the rank of under secretary and above. Most of them claimed to have travelled with their family to the extremities of the country — the northeast, Kerala and the Andamans. The racket, said sources, has been one of the worst kept secrets although there was no actionable evidence against it.

The Kolkata Police was the first to stumble upon the LTC racket in March this year when it detained a passenger at Kolkota airport with more than 600 blank boarding passes of Air India. He was to board a SpiceJet aircraft to Port Blair. On being interrogated, he claimed that he was to deliver it to someone in the Andamans. The surmise is that this someone in the Andamans was to fill up fictitious details of flights there on the blank boarding passes. An investigation by the police is underway, sources said.

Air India's vigilance division began an investigation after the airline was asked about the fake boarding passes. Initial inquiries by the airline confirmed that it was a fairly widespread practice among government employees to manipulate LTC by submitting forged boarding pass and tickets, and hugely inflating fares.

In March, the Rajya Sabha secretariat asked Air India for verification of seven tickets issued by a travel agency to secretariat employees on the Delhi-Kolkota-Port Blair sector. Air India reported back that the tickets and boarding passes were fabricated. "No such journey has been undertaken by the seven people," Air India said.

The fictitious tickets submitted to the RS secretariat turned out to be a crude job — they included a business class ticket, even though Air India has no business class seats to Port Blair. Some of the boarding passes had the same number, even same seat numbers. And each ticket was for Rs 1.35 lakh, although the fare on that particular day was nowhere near that amount.

Air India also carried out an internal investigation into another complaint, this one from the Ordnance Factory Board. From the Board's Jabalpur plant over 400 employees and their families ostensibly travelled to the northeast to avail LTC between 2006 and 2008. Under a special order of the government to promote tourism in northeast, even the lowest ranked government employees and their families can fly to northeast sector and claim airfare under LTC.

A ticket submitted by a Jabalpur employee was found to have been valued at an incredible Rs 2.11 lakh; it's hardly surprising that it turned out to be a forgery. While the e-tickets were definitely forged, it is still not clear how on many of these tickets people actually travelled.

It is suspected that some of these tickets may have been bought by cash by travel agents from Air India. And then they may have created forged e-tickets, showing higher fares. Whatever may be the case, the CBI is expected to investigate all the 400 families that travelled to northeast from Jabalpur, sources said.

Sources also said the LTC racket appears to be rampant across government departments, public sector units, and public sector banks.

It also appears that many officials submit forged boarding passes and e-tickets of travel between Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram, while they are actually travelling to Colombo or Singapore. In other words, on the basis of their LTC claims, employees are undertaking foreign trips, which this facility doesn't allow.


Death of government employee does not entitle family for job: Supreme Court

Death of government employee does not entitle family for job: Supreme Court
NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court has held that death of a government employee in harness does not entitle the family to claim compassionate employment and the person seeking appointment must possess the eligibility for the post.

A bench of justices B S Chauhan and S A Bobde also said that the competent authority should examine the financial condition of family of the deceased and job should be offered to the eligible family member only if it is satisfied that they would not be able to cope up with the crisis.

"Mere death of a government employee in harness does not entitle the family to claim compassionate employment.

"The competent authority has to examine the financial condition of the family of the deceased employee and it is only if it is satisfied that without providing employment, the family will not be able to meet the crisis, that a job is to be offered to the eligible member of the family. More so, the person claiming such appointment must possess required eligibility for the post," it said.

The bench allowed an appeal filed by MGB Gramin Bank which had challenged a 2010 judgement of the Rajasthan High Court by which one Chakrawarti Singh, son of a deceased Bank employee, was directed to be appointed under a scheme of compassionate employment.

Singh's father, who was working as a Class III employee with the Bank, had died on April 19, 2006 while in harness. Singh had applied for compassionate appointment on May 12, 2006.

The bench set aside the judgements of the High Court, saying, "The reasoning given by the single judge as well as by the division bench is not sustainable in the eyes of law."

It also said that "an ameliorating relief should not be taken as opening an alternative mode of recruitment to public employment".
The bench said compassionate employment cannot be claimed as a "matter of right, as it is not a vested right".

It also said that every appointment to public office must be made by strictly adhering to the mandatory requirements of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.

"An exception by providing employment on compassionate grounds has been carved out in order to remove the financial constraints on the bereaved family, which has lost its bread earner," the bench said.

The Bank had said during pendency of Singh's application, a new scheme dated June 12, 2006 came into force with effect from October 6, 2006 which provided that all applications pending on the date of commencement of the scheme shall be considered for grant of ex-gratia payment to the family instead of compassionate appointment.

This contention was rejected by the High Court which said the cause of action, i.e death of the employee, had arisen prior to the commencement of the new scheme and, therefore, the case was to be considered as per the then existing scheme which provided for compassionate appointment and not for grant of ex-gratia payment.

Source: ET

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