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Season the reason for snail mail

Marriage season is reason enough for slowing down official work, according to the department of posts.

The defence offered by the department — after it was dragged to a consumer court for allegedly taking “over six months” to shift some savings-account passbooks from a Howrah post office to the Lansdowne post office, in south Calcutta — included pressures of the marriage months as one of the excuses, besides procedural delays and the lack of adequate staff.

The Howrah District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum was not impressed, ordering the postal department to pay Rs 5,500 as compensation to the complainant, Alok Bandhu Trivedi. But the Ballygunge Government High School teacher has not received anything to date, forcing him to fight another round of legal battles.

Trivedi had applied to the postal department to shift his account and passbooks from the Danesh Sheikh Lane post office to the Lansdowne post office in April 2002. But he ultimately got them in October, though the postal department’s legal team claimed in September that the passbooks were sent to the Lansdowne post office in July.

The court ordered the department of posts to pay Trivedi a compensation of Rs 5,000 for the harassment he had suffered and Rs 500 to meet the legal expenses he had incurred. The court has now asked the department to “show cause” why the order was not executed in accordance with the original verdict. The next hearing has been fixed for February 14, at which senior department officials must be present.

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