| Vinod Poddar. Telegraph picture |
The gap between the court order for fund release and actual release of funds is proving dear for Vinod Poddar, the ailing retired employee of Bihar State Sugar Corporation (BSSC).
Patna High Court on Friday ordered the sugar corporation to immediately release Rs 2 lakh to Poddar, who is undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, for severe heart complications. The corporation, however, has not yet released the funds for its former employee, who has not received his salaries for six years and other post-retirement benefits, including pension.
Lakshmeshawar Jha, the cane commissioner-cum-managing director of BSSC, said on Tuesday: “The legal department has approved sanctioning of funds today (Tuesday). We are hoping to release the money to Poddar by 12noon tomorrow.”
The corporation would violate the court order if it fails to make the payment by tomorrow. “After the reason given by the defendant (BSSC) that the secretariat is closed on Saturday and Sunday, Justice S.N. Hussain had ordered the corporation on last Friday to pay the money by Wednesday (May 9),” said Aditya Narain Singh, advocate of Poddar. Singh is fighting Poddar’s case for free. He added: “The high court yesterday posted Poddar’s case for hearing on May 10.”
A similar poser is prevailing over the release of outstanding payment to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh to Poddar by Bihar State Human Rights Commission (BSHRC). The panel had recently decided to clear out the outstanding payment to Poddar related to his services given to the organisation during his deputation from May 2010 to August 2011. The chairman of the commission, Justice S.N. Jha, had ordered to release the fund over a week ago but the amount is still to be released. Vandana Kini, the secretary of BSHRC, refused to comment on this issue despite repeated attempts.
Relatives of Poddar, meanwhile, are worried about his survival as his health condition is still critical and the doctors at AIIMS have recommended a bypass surgery as early as possible. “After complete diagnosis, the doctors have said three arteries in my father’s heart are blocked and the only possible treatment is a bypass surgery. The doctors are suggesting that the surgery should be conducted at the earliest taking into consideration the pain in his heart and number of attacks in the past,” said Shubhika Shresth, Poddar’s daughter.
Shubhika, a third-year student at College of Commerce, added: “The bypass surgery would cost not less than Rs 2 lakh and there is a huge rush for this surgery at AIIMS. We may need to get the surgery done at some other hospital. That would cost more money for which we need the funds from BSSC and BSHRC.”
The Telegraph in its editions on April 24, 26, 28 and May 3 had reported the hardship being faced by Poddar and his family because of acute financial crisis. Poddar has already received cheques of Rs 25,000 from BSSC as advance payment against his pending salaries amounting Rs 17.5 lakh.