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RTI Judgement Series: How the government ill-treats its own retired employees for pension

Most public authorities appear to be very callous towards their retiring employees and people, who after serving these organizations for years, are made to run from pillar to post like beggars to get their dues, the CIC observed. This is the 58th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, expressed anguish over how retired employees are made to run from pillar to post like ‘beggars’ in the same organisation they served to get their dues.

 

While giving this important judgement on 3 September 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “The Commission directs the Public Information Officer (PIO) to ensure that in compliance of Section 4 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, names of those who apply for pensions and provident funds (PFs) are put up on the website as soon as the application is received, within a week. The action taken on these must also be displayed giving dates.”

 

New Delhi resident Jai Narain, on 2 June 2008, sought information from the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) about delays in receiving pension funds. Here is the information he sought and the answers provided by the PIO...

 

1. Number of applications for grant of pension from Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), including that of Shri Mahender Kumar, Badge No. 5560, pending in the HQ or in depots for more than one month as on 21 April 2008.

PIO's reply—In this connection, it is stated that the corporate office disposes of the application/10D forms of EPS-95 received from the units approximately within 15 days. However, as on date no application is pending with the corporate office for more than fifteen days.

 

2. Details in respect of each application describing name of the ex-employee, pending since when and reason thereof.

PIO's reply—The application of Sh. Mahender Kumar is pending since 28/03/2008. The reason is that the employee has not given his bank account No. as per the list of EPFO. Moreover, his son Sh. Subhash was handed over a list of banks so that he can open an account in the bank and intimate the office about the action so that further action on his application.

 

3. Whether the ex-employee concerned has been informed about his pending application to rectify the discrepancies, if any? If not, the reason thereof.

PIO's reply—Yes, the ex-employee has been informed about the discrepancies.

 

4. Names, designation and phone numbers of the persons responsible for disposal of such applications and the details of action taken by them on each of the application pending.

PIO's reply—As per the procedure application/10 D form has to be submitted by the concerned employee at his depot/unit. The same form has to be sent to the corporate office for attestation and after that it is returned to concerned unit for onward submission to RPFC to grant pension to the subscriber by RPFC.

 

5. The expected date of completion of needful action on behalf of DTC and sending the same back to the applicants for onward.

PIO's reply—There is no time limit for the needful action and all it depends upon the completion of all the formalities.

 

Not satisfied with the PIO's reply, Narain then approached the Commission.

 

During a hearing Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted the sorry state of affairs in government departments in sanctioning pension to its own retired employees. He said, “Most public authorities appear to be very callous towards their retiring employees and people who have served these organizations for years are made to run from pillar to post like beggars to get their dues. Whereas society proclaims special benefits for senior citizens on the one hand, on the other the legitimate dues of senior citizens and their families are neglected rampantly.”

 

While allowing the complaint, the Commission then directed the PIO of DTC to display on the website names of those who apply for pensions and provident funds as soon as the application is received, within a week. “The action taken on these must also be displayed giving dates. If any applications are pending for over 30 days this should be mentioned giving reasons.”

 

“The PIO will ensure that this direction is complied with before 30 September 2009. These details shall be updated every week and the date of updation will be mentioned on the website. A compliance report will be send to the Commission and the complainant before 5 October 2009,” the Commission said in its order.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/C/2009/000611/4683

http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/SG-03092009-07.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/SG/C/2009/000611

 

                                                                  

Complainant                                       : Jai Narain

                                                  New Delhi

 

Respondent                                        : Renu Popli

                                                  Public Information Officer

                                                  Delhi Transport Corporation 

                                                  BBM Complex, Delhi 110009

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COMMENTS

MK Gupta

4 years ago

TD Sharma's suggestions are worth consideration by the Moneylife team. Yes, CGHS does deserve a study vis-a-vis the archaic and inhuman rules governing the beneficiaries and the most unfriendly and negative attitude of those responsible for running the Scheme for which the subscriber-beneficiaries do pay. Retired beneficiaries are treated most shabbily, doctors deny even the basic courtesies due to the retired senioe civil servants as regards appointments which are of course not existent once one is retired. For pathological and other tests, the pre-requirement of first approaching a specialist in a govt hospitsal before getting the tests done is simply inhuman, in view of the fact that, if one knows the right person and has the right contacts, one can get special benefits even in terms of the financial limits for treatment! In CGHS, even death can be deferred if you know the right persons and can afford the requisitions to approach them! The general people, especially in CGHS dispensary in Haddows Road in Chennai for example, are just great. But, in most cases, the people manning the Wellness Centres smsack of illness! In Delhi, the CMO in Kalkaji hasd two ACs in his chamber, while in the aforesaid Haddows Road Dispensary, there is not even a direct telephone line for the CMO who has been the only one of the four doctors sanctioned for this VIP centre where retired judges and senior most civil servsants are registered. The CMO is just great and decent, bearing smilingly the burden of a huge number of patients and hence the system runs. But the sufferers are the beneficiaries or the end users. The behaviour of the CGHS officials in the directorates is most unfriendly at all levels and officers of NOT VERY HIGH LEVELS also are not particularly decent and well behaved, especially while dealing with the retired senior citizens. It is high time CGHS is covered by you. Especially in respect of the dispersal of the doctors all over the country and among the various centres and the utter sufferings of the beneficiaries, with reference to the famous case of Dibakar Chatterjee v Addl Dir., CGHS, Kolkata-the eternal hell in the system.

TD Sharma

4 years ago

Thanks for this piece. Will you please carry a study on the CGHS with special reference to the pensioner-beneficiaries and the indignities suffered by them? Why must they be forced to run specialists in crowded govt hospitals too get simple tests certified and prescribed and why can't the CMOs in the Welfare Centres be empowered to do this on the basis of private doctors'precriptions? What is going to be the extent of financial "LOSS" to the exchequer if private hospitals'prescribed medicines are allowed by the CMOs to be precribed for the patients? Will any patient wilfully gulp medicines unless one is compelled to visit a private doctor and pay through his nose? Cant the CGHS/CHS people be more practical? Do the retired IAS/IPS/IFS officers suffer these ignominious treatment?

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