Siliguri, Sept. 6: The Siliguri Primary School Council has directed a teacher to refund the money she was paid in the six-and-a half years that she worked “illegally” after her due date of retirement.
Gayetri Roy Choudhury, ex-assistant teacher of Siliguri Girls’ Primary School, had been working in the school since 1968 and, according to her matriculation certificate, should have retired in January 1997. But she continued to work “without the knowledge of the authorities” till she received a notice on August 7.
The office of the Siliguri Primary School Council served a notice asking her to “make refund of the excess amount drawn by her with effect from 01.02.97 till date, failing which the proposal for sanctioning superannuation benefit will not be made from this end”.
“It is a matter of surprise that she did not take retirement after expiry of the exact date of her retirement which is highly illegal. Moreover, she did not intimate her retirement either to the sub-inspector of schools or the primary school council.”
Roy Choudhury is away in Calcutta, but the Siliguri unit of the Paschim Banga Prathmik Shikshak Samity, an association of primary teachers, has “taken up her cause”.
In a letter to school education minister Kanti Biswas yesterday, the association has demanded exemplary punishment for the “negligent officers” responsible for the lapse. They have threatened to “launch an agitation” if action is not taken.
“It is not the fault of the employee but the school authorities, the sub-inspector of schools, the district inspector of schools and the primary school council,” said Ranjan Seal Sharma, association general secretary.
“How can the council ask her to return her earnings… which come to about Rs 4.5 lakh all of a sudden that too for no fault of hers'” he asked.
“We have sought explanation from the office of the district inspector of schools… We have also served a showcause notice to the head-teacher of the school, seeking explanation about some wrong entries in their records,” said Nikhil Guha, Siliguri Primary School Council chairman.