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25-year battle for 41 days of government service

 

Tuesday, February 02, 2010 03:28:56 PM, Pradipta Tapadar, IANS

Kolkata: A man had to fight court battles and endure bureaucratic sloth for a quarter of a century to take up a government job for which he had been selected, but finally he could work for only 41 days - he had reached his retirement age by then.

 

And that's not it. Mohammed Abdur Rauf, 63, is now running from pillar to post for his pension - but even that is proving elusive.

 

Rauf, a resident of Park Circus in south Kolkata, was selected for the post of assistant sampler in the West Bengal government's food and supplies department, but a false police case registered against him by a close relative proved his nemesis as the police took all of 25 years to give him a clean chit and, that too, after being prodded by a court.

 

"I was selected for the post of assistant sampler on 5. 5. 1982, but was asked to submit the police verification certificate as per norms.

"In the meanwhile, false cases were framed by my brother and, without any kind of investigation, the Beniapukur police station registered the cases and a report was sent to the food and supplies department that I have a criminal case against me," Rauf told IANS.

The department told Rauf he could join only after being cleared in the case.

 

Rauf fought the case with the help of legal aid from friends and the court gave him a clean cheat in 2001. But the nightmare was not yet over for Rauf, who stays in a slum and earns his living from the rent he gets from tenants.

 

"The verdict was given after 20 years in 2001. I rushed to the food supplies department but was asked to submit a report by police. Then the harassment of the administrative officers started.

 

"It took six long years till state assembly Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim came to my rescue. He instructed the police authorities and the food department to look into the matter. And I was told to join on 20.11.2007 and retired on 31.12.2007 as I reached the superannuation age of 60.

 

"I accepted my destiny and thought that I would spend the rest of my life on pension. But I was denied pension as I have worked for only 41 days. But this is not my fault. It is because of the administration that I had to go through such an ordeal," said Rauf.

 

Pushed to the wall, the man then moved the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) which ordered that he be given pension. But the administrative officers didn't lend an ear to the verdict, forcing Rauf to move the Minorities Commission.

 

"SAT passed the verdict but the food department didn't implement it. So I moved the Minorities Commission. It has already sent three to four letters to the department, but the department of food and supplies is yet to act," said Rauf.

 

What will he do now? Rauf thundered: "Sher mar jayega par ghaas nehi khayega (the tiger will die of starvation but will not eat grass). I will wait for a few more days and then I will again move court for justice."

 

(Pradipta Tapadar can be contacted at pradiptanarayan@gmail.com)

 

 

 

 

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