scorecardA story India's red-tape: Octogenarian on legal quest for his father's arrears from 1979
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A story India's red-tape: Octogenarian on legal quest for his father's arrears from 1979

A story India's red-tape: Octogenarian on legal quest for his father's arrears from 1979
IndiaIndia2 min read
Bengaluru, Terming him an unfortunate victim of insensitive bureaucratic red-tapism, the High Court of Karnataka has directed the authorities to release the arrears of a Village Officer dating from 1979 to 1990. The Village Officer's 88-year-old son has been fighting a legal battle for decades to secure the arrears amounting to Rs 37,000.

"It is unfortunate that the Village Officer became another victim of insensitive bureaucratic red tapism and died without receiving the compensation. His son who is an octogenarian is still fighting for his father's right. It is rather too surprising that the State has taken an untenable stand that the petitioner's father was not entitled for the compensation because he was not sanctioned ad hoc compensation," a division bench of Justice P S Dinesh Kumar and Justice T G Shivashankare Gowda noted in their recent judgement.

T S Rajan, the son of the late T K Sheshadri Iyengar, a resident of Rajajingar in Bengaluru, approached the High Court in 2021 with a writ petition.

His father was working as a 'Patel' in Thangali village, Kadur Taluk, Chikkamagaluru district.

As per an order passed by the HC and upheld in an appeal (1997) subsequently, the petition filed by the Karnataka State Patel's Sangha was allowed and Rajan's father was also one of the beneficiaries.

The order specified a compassionate allowance of Rs 100 per month from August 1979 to June 1990.

Rajan's father filed several applications and representations for the allowance but it was not granted.

After his father's death, Rajan submitted a representation to the Tahsildar of Kadur requesting for the payment. It was rejected in 2017.

Rajan then approached the Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal, which also rejected his application, following which he approached the HC.

The Tahsildar had rejected the request made by the petitioner on the ground that his father had not received ad hoc allowance.

Rajan's advocate argued before the HC that such an endorsement by the State Government is unsustainable in law because it was for the government to sanction and release the ad hoc allowance also.

The HC in its judgement rejected the contentions of the State and said, "The contention urged on behalf of the State Government that since the petitioner has not been granted the ad hoc compensation and therefore, he is not entitled to claim the arrears is rather surprising. We may record that it is not disputed by the government that the petitioner's father was working as Patel of Village Thangali."

The HC rejected the Tahsildar's endorsement and said, "Once, there is no dispute that petitioner's father was working as Village Officer of Thangali Village, State ought to have considered the claim for arrears. In view of the same, the reason recorded by the Tahsildar that the petitioner is not entitled to arrears as his father did not receive the ad hoc allowance is wholly untenable."

The HC ordered that the State should calculate and pay the arrears as well as the ad hoc allowance at the rate of Rs 100 between 1979 and 1990.

Further, the allowance and arrears from 1990 to 1994 should be paid at the rate of Rs 500 per month, the HC said. It also ordered a simple interest of 10 per cent on the amount from the date of entitlement. The payment is to be made within three months, the court ordered.