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Pension, crime delinked

Calcutta, July 26: Calcutta High Court today directed the school education department to disburse the pension of a Purulia teacher who had been convicted in a murder case and had retired while in jail.

“Pension and criminal cases are different issues. Pension of any employee cannot be stalled even if a criminal case is lying pending against him,” Justice Debasish Kargupta said.

The judge directed the department to pay the teacher his pension from December 2008 along with an annual interest of 9 per cent.

“The interest amount will have to be deducted from the salary of (the) district inspector of schools, who had denied pension to the teacher,” Justice Kargupta’s order said.

According to the case records, Anadiprosad Mahato, who was a teacher of Bhangra Higher Secondary School in Purulia, had been arrested along with nine others on June 3, 1984, after three persons died in a clash between CPM and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supporters.

In his verdict on May 28, 2005, the district sessions judge of Purulia convicted all the 10 of murder and sentenced them to life imprisonment,” said Saugata Mitra, the lawyer who appeared for Mahato in the high court, today.

“The teacher obtained bail from a division bench of Calcutta High Court on November 16, 2009. The appeal he moved in the high court against the Purulia court’s verdict is pending,” Mitra said. Mahato retired on November 30, 2008, when he was in jail.

After his release from jail, the schoolteacher contacted the education department to seek his pension. “After dilly-dallying, the Purulia district inspector of schools wrote a letter to him on June12, 2012, saying that since a criminal case was pending against Mahato, he would not get the pension,” Mitra said.