State should wage legal battle only in deserving cases: Madras HC

Last Updated: Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 00:26

Chennai: Lambasting the attitude of the government contesting all the cases irrespective of its deservedness, the Madras High Court on Friday observed that state should always keep in mind that it is "by the people and for the people and should not act against the people".

Justice KK Sasidharan made this observation while closing a contempt petition filed by a widow as the court order was finally complied with after dragging her from pillar to post.

"The state should wage legal battle only in deserving cases and the officials while dragging the subjects from pillar to post must realise that they are only government servants while people are the masters," the judge said.

Jayachitra had sought appointment in a suitable post in the Chennai Port Trust on compassionate grounds as her husband died while working as an office Assistant in the CPT on November 3, 2000.

However, the CPT rejected her claim in 2010 on the ground that it could not keep an application of compassionate appointment for more than three years from the date of death. Though she filed an application on November 15, 2000, the CPT took four years to call for her bio-data.

She submitted that the CPT had appointed two others who were junior to her in the waiting list. Justice Sasidharan before whom the petition came up on November 16 last year, directed the CPT to appoint her within two months.

The CPT filed an appeal, which was dismissed by a Division Bench. As she was not given appointment orders even after that, she filed a contempt plea. The CPT then moved the Supreme Court, which lambasted the authorities for filing frivolous appeals and imposed Rs one lakh as costs on CPT, payable to Jayachitra, who filed another contempt petition.

Justice Sasidharan pulled up the authorities again following the CPT fixing a lower scale to her and the correct one was fixed on November 20 with seniority from 2005 when two persons junior to her were appointed.

The judge also pointed out that the Supreme Court order in the matter was a warning to public authorities determined to appeal against every order without examining whether it is a fit case to spend public money on.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 00:26

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