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Court rap on BCCL for false affidavit

Ranchi, May 3: Swearing a false affidavit before the Jharkhand High Court landed Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) into trouble with a cost of Rs 50,000 imposed on it here today.

Justice Narendra Nath Tiwari slapped the fine on the coal major for not only wrongly retiring a person from office three years earlier than his due superannuation, but also for filing a false affidavit to substantiate its acts.

The petitioner — Nanku Mahto — had moved the high court challenging his retirement by Bharat Coking Coal Limited.

Mahto, an employee of the coal company, was retired from services in August 2005.

However, Mahto, who was born on August 1948, had contended that he was due to retire in August 2008 when he would turn 60 years old.

Bharat Coking Coal Limited, on a wrong assumption, erroneously believed Mahto’s date of birth to be August 1945 and, thus, passed orders for his retirement in 2005. It also went to the court filing an affidavit saying that their action on Mahto was right.

Mahto protested against this decision of the coal company and said that he had been superannuated on the basis of a wrong calculation.

The matter reached the Jharkhand High Court, which directed Bharat Coking Coal Limited authorities to produce the original Form B register in which the date of birth of all employees is recorded.

When the matter came up for hearing today, the records — the original Form B register — submitted by BCCL exposed the fact that Mahto’s year of birth was 1948 and not 1945 as had been asserted by BCCL through an affidavit.

The high court expressed its annoyance in the matter and observed that “this is a glaring instance of high handedness, arbitrariness and illegality on the part of the BCCL. Inspite of the correct entry in the register, Mahto has been made to retire three years before his actual date of retirement.”

The bench directed BCCL to immediately reinstate Mahto and pay all his dues within a month.

The authorities have also been ordered to pay Mahto his salary without considering the break in his service and also pay the money imposed on BCCL as cost.

The court while fixing the next date of hearing of the case on May 14 directed Bharat Coking Coal Limited counsel to furnish the name of the officer by whose order Mahto was retired from service.

The court observed that suitable deterrent action should be initiated against the officials responsible for this anomaly so that innocent employees are not harassed in future.

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