HC rejects plea of ex-LS official to take back consent for VRS

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has thwarted an attempt of a retired official of Lok Sabha Secretariat to get back his job after seeking voluntary retirement and asked him to pay Rs 50,000 as cost to his employer for concealing facts.

A bench of justices Gita Mittal and Deepa Sharma upheld the decision of a single judge bench that had said that R Kothandaraman had "waived his right to withdraw the voluntary retirement". The court also took serious objection of the concealment of material fact by Kothandaraman while attempting to take back his previous consent to voluntary retirement by alleging that his wife was refusing "to consent for a joint photograph for the pension papers".

However, later it came to the light that the joint photograph of Kothandaraman and his wife was already filed with the department in the pension papers. "Given this conduct of the appellant in concealing material facts and generating this unwarranted and dishonest litigation as part a well thought plan, two years after the events, the appellant is burdened with heavy costs.

"For all these reasons, the present appeal is completely devoid of any merits and is hereby dismissed with costs throughout," the court said, asked him to pay Rs 50,000 within four weeks to his previous employer. "We are deeply distressed that a person in such senior position in the legislative department, one who is engaged in law making, should display such scant regard towards established legal principles and create such litigation for already over burdened courts," it said.

On June 6, 2008, Kothandaraman had sought to voluntarily retire from the Lok Sabha Secretariat and after it was accepted, he sought to withdraw the voluntary retirement request, which was not accepted by the authorities.

Later, a plea was filed before a single judge bench which also dismissed the plea of Kothandaraman, who, besides working in the Lok Sabha Secretariat, had earlier served in Nagaland and Goa Legislative assemblies in various capacities.

Disposing of the appeal against the order of the single judge, the larger bench, in its 30-page verdict, said that in case the fine is not deposited then the Lok Sabha Secretariat "shall recover the same from the pension being paid to the petitioner in monthly equated instalments of Rs 5,000 per month commencing from 1st of November, 2014".

"We may also observe that the appellant, as a senior officer with the respondent, was fully aware of the requirements of law. He has filed the writ petition concealing the material fact that on the 11th of July, 2008 he had also completed all formalities for processing his pension/terminal benefits and separately submitted the same for their processing.

"He also conceals the material fact that the reason for which he had sought withdrawal of his retirement, had ceased to exist as he had sent a joint photograph with his wife to the respondents." The court, which also said the concealment rendered Kothandaraman "liable for appropriate proceedings under the Contempt of Court Act", however decided to imposed the cost only.

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