Chennai: The Madras high court has expressed its hope that the state government takes note of the difficulties faced by employees and employers and takes steps to ensure that there is a regular sitting of the State Level Scrutiny Committee so that there is a speedy and quick disposal of the verification of the Community Certificates.
“We are aware of the fact that the State Level Scrutiny Committee constituted pursuant to the decision of the Supreme Court in Kumari Madhuri Patil and another Vs Additional Commissioner, Tribal Development and others, is not sitting on a day to day basis to dispose numerous references that are made by various government/state employers and by the court”, said a division bench comprising Justices R.Subbiah and C.Saravan while expressing the above hope.
Dismissing a petition M.Kothandaraman, a retired Chennai Port Trust employee, challenging a communication of the Deputy Conservator, Marine Department, Chennai Port Trust, withholding his pensionary and terminal benefits since Vigilance Clearance of his community status was still pending before the State Level Scrutiny Committee, the bench gave liberty to him to approach this court for appropriate direction against the State Level Scrutiny Committee to complete verification of his community certificate.
The petitioner was appointed as a Lascar Grade-II (Yard) with CPT on January 3, 1978 against post reserved for person belonging to Scheduled Tribe. At the time of joining, he has produced a community certificate
stating his community as ‘Kuravar’, an other backward class community in Tamil Nadu. Later, he substituted the same with a different community certificate stating his community as “Hindu Malakkuravan”, which was a Scheduled Tribe community. Raising serious question relating to his community status, the CPT
forwarded the said certificate to the State Level Scrutiny Committee for verification on September 25, 2013 and the same was still pending.
While so, the CPT issued the present communication informing him that the petitioner will retire on March 31, 2019 on attaining the age of superannuation and will be paid a provisional pension based on the approval of the Deputy Chairman as Vigilance Clearance of his community status was still pending before the State Level Scrutiny Committee. Aggrieved, he filed the present petition, challenging the communication.
The bench said, “At the outset, we would like to mention that the State Level Scrutiny Committee should have been made as a party to the proceedings. Even though as per the impugned communication verification of the Community Certificate of the petitioner is still pending before the said authority. The petitioner has not sought for any relief against the said authority. Therefore, the present petition is liable to be dismissed for non impleading of necessary party. That apart, the Vigilance Clearance has not been given by the Central Vigilance Officer as verification regarding genuineness of the petitioner’s community certificate was still awaited”.
The bench said there was a bonafide doubt regarding the claim of the petitioner that he belongs to Hindu Malakkuravan community as at the time of joining employment, the petitioner had produced Kuravar Community certificate, which was a backward community and not a Scheduled Tribe Community.
Therefore, his employment against a post meant for Scheduled Tribe was in question. Perhaps, if scrutiny was completed earlier, the petitioner would have lost his employment much earlier or in the alternative proved that he was entitled to reservation quota. “Since the State Level Scrutiny Committee is presently seized of the matter, we are therefore of the view that it would be improper to order release of pension and terminal benefits at this stage”, the bench added.