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Pension Delay: HC censures State AG’s apathy

Nagaland News

Asks to either file affidavit or appear in Court

DIMAPUR, JULY 4: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on Monday called out the “total apathy and lack of concern” by the office of the Accountant General of Nagaland following its failure to finalise the pension benefits of a Nagaland Government employee who had passed away in 2003.
In an order, Justice LS Jamir directed the office of the Accountant General or the Principal Accountant General to file a counter-affidavit on or before July 27.
“If no counter-affidavit is filed by the next returnable date, the Principal Accountant General, Nagaland shall appear in person before this Court”, the order read.
According to Court records, the writ petition was filed by the mother of W Imnameren Jamir, who had died on February 24, 2003. He was serving in the State’s Rural Development Department.
Following his death, the Department officials had processed all the papers with regard to family pension benefits.
“As no steps were taken, the Director of Rural Development, Nagaland, Kohima, again wrote on June 16, 2016, to the office of the Accountant General, Nagaland, Kohima, forwarding the application received from the petitioner for settlement of family pension. Till date, no steps have been taken by the office of the Accountant General nor has counter-affidavit been filed”, the Judge observed.
According to the Judge, “This writ petition demonstrates the total apathy and lack of concern for the petitioner by the office of the Accountant General, Nagaland”.
He listed the case to be heard again on July 28.
Only a few days ago ~ on June 30 ~ the Court had heard a case in which it was informed that more than a decade after retiring from service, a former employee of the State’s Industries and Commerce Department was yet to receive his pension and other retirement benefits.
According to Court records, H Tenong Phom retired as Functional Manager, Industries and Commerce, on superannuation.
And on September 5, 2019, he filed a writ petition in Court stating that he had not been given pension and other associated benefits in spite of repeated requests to the authorities concerned. In this Court document, the petitioner had retired on October 10, 2009.
Back then, the Court had disposed of the case with a directive to the State authorities to release the pension and other retirement benefits within three months.
However, on July 22, 2021, he filed a contempt petition against the authorities stating that his pension and other benefits have not been released despite the Court order. In this document, his retirement date was entered as July 27, 2011.
On February 22, 2022, the Court was informed that P&AR Department had approved the case of the petitioner for release of pension and associated benefits, and the matter was pending before the State Cabinet for final approval.
On July 30, the State Counsel, V Zhimomi produced the written instruction given to him by the Director of Industries and Commerce showing that the Cabinet had “rejected the condonation proposal for the overstaying of service period by the petitioner and that the amount drawn by the petitioner for the period concerned should be reimbursed by him”.
In view of this, Justice Nelson Sailo ruled that notice returnable by four weeks be issued. “Pendency of the writ petition is not a bar to the respondents to consider the release of pension and other retirement benefits of the petitioner”, the order stated.
(Page News Service)