High Court of Madras
High Court of Madras

Trust deficit incurable: HC upholds CAT order

The judges passed the orders on dismissing a petition filed by M Kannan. The petitioner, a former postmaster from Sembinatham Gramin Dak Sevak Branch, sought direction to set aside the CAT’s order dated June 21.

CHENNAI: Observing that the trust deficit is an incurable ailment, a division bench of Madras High Court confirmed the final order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) dismissing a Gramin Dak Sevak Branch Postmaster from service on charges of misappropriating the funds of three people from Sembinatham village in Karur district.

“Postmen were considered like messengers of God. They were considered one amongst the villagers. They used to deliver letters that used to carry good news and sad news. They used to carry money too,” the bench comprising Justice VM Velumani and Justice R Hemalatha held, adding, the postmen’s responsibility in terms of their mode of travel, promptness, reliability and hard work was always adored by people.

“With the advent of technology, dependence on them came down to a great extent but nevertheless when a postman himself commands so much respect, a postmaster who is in charge of the office ought to have acted in a more responsible manner earning respect for his integrity and devotion,” Justice Hemalatha has opined.

The judges passed the orders on dismissing a petition filed by M Kannan. The petitioner, a former postmaster from Sembinatham Gramin Dak Sevak Branch, sought direction to set aside the CAT’s order dated June 21.

The petitioner submitted that there was no monetary loss to the postal department as the amount was made good by him after the issue was detected.

However, the judges rejected his submissions and observed that the action of the CAT was not merely for the monetary loss but for the reputation loss of the postal department.

According to the petitioner, there were three charges framed against him for illegally withdrawing Rs 1,000 from the savings bank account of one G Kalaiselvi and for not depositing Rs 960 collected from one M Ponnusamy for his Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) policy as well as for not crediting Rs 3,146 into the SB account of one Nagammal.

Hence, the Superintendent of Post offices, Karur division, removed the petitioner from service for violating Gramin Dak Sevak (Conduct Engagement) Rules, 2011, which was confirmed by the CAT.

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