SC slams Chennai Port Trust for denying job to staffer's widow

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Supreme Court
New Delhi, Oct 30: The management of Chennai Port Trust (CPT) today faced the ire of Supreme Court for "manipulating" records to deny a job to the widow of a peon who was also dragged into "frivolous litigation".

"This petition is illustrative of how officers of a public body manipulate records to deny a widow of their own employee a legitimate appointment on compassionate grounds and vigorously pursue litigation in different courts to inflict unbearable loss to a victim of circumstances," said a bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi.

SC expressed its anguish over officials in government departments and PSUs indulging in frivolous litigation without any accountability as "they don't have to shell out money from their own pockets". "For decades, courts across the country have been witnessing frivolous litigation by public authorities, which has consumed valuable time which could have been devoted to useful litigation.

"Public officers have indulged in frivolous litigation and they seem to be not accountable as they don't have to shell out money from their own pockets," the bench, which also comprised Justices Shiva Kirti Singh and C Nagappan, said.

Dismissing the appeal of the CPT chairman against a Madras High Court judgement, the bench directed the PSU to within a month appoint S Jayachitra on compassionate grounds from the date when the decision was taken for appointment of others in 2005 on the same basis.

The order also said she will be employed in the same scale as was prevailing in 2005 and would be given actual benefits of revision of pay scales from time to time and CPT will pay Rs 1 lakh as cost of litigation to her for filing frivolous cases in the issue.

Almost 10 years after she had submitted her application, officials concerned rejected the same saying she did not fulfil the criteria for appointment on compassionate grounds. 


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