Salary withheld without following due procedure

This query is : Resolved 

07 October 2012

I am working as group B junior telecom officer in BSNL .one year back (august 2011) the SDE who happens to be my reporting officer withheld my monthly salary by showing me absent without intimation in the monthly absentee statement demanded by account section. As per my job profile there are no fixed duty hours and i am expected to work as and when situation warrants .In my case there is no system of signing attendance register .from last ten years I have never signed any attendance register and was drawing my salary regularly without any break. I have sufficient evidence of my presence and total work done during that month. In spite of representing my case to my higher officers they refused to intervene and I was forced to give 4 days’ EL by my controlling officer to release my salary. As per service conditions and officers hierarchy given by BSNL my disciplinary authority is deputy general manager. In my view the SDE who happens to be only higher order group B officer do not have any powers to withheld my salary without following due procedure such as calling for an explanation or memo and then duly reporting the matter to my disciplinary authority for further action after my disciplinary authority approves for such an action. The funniest part of the absentee statement demanded by account section is that the SDE is showing me absent without intimation but is showing himself present without countersignature by his controlling officer. I am planning to take legal action against the SDE for unnecessary harassing me to settle his personal grudge with me.
Do I have a solid case against the SDE and will it be admitted because of delay (almost more than one year).all the legal experts in administrative/service laws and members of lawyers club India are requested to shed more light and give their valuable suggestions and advice.

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Sudhir Kumar (Expert)
10 October 2012

whether there is any dies non-order?
whether there is any chargesheet forthe charge of unauthroised absence?

You hve already represented there is no action. You can move to court.

Dear Yogesh,

It is wrong to say there are no fixed duty hours in BSNL. In that respect, you seem to be in some misunderstanding. In any organisation no flexible hours as per the sweet will of the employee are permissible. Nobody is employed on regular basis against any post to work, as and when situation warrants. If your SDE has reported absent, there must be some definite cause for him to do that, as you would not been available to him as and when he would have tried to contact you or whenever on checking you would not have been found present on job during duty hours.

Salary of course is drawn, but the drawing & disbursing officer (Accounts Officer) or the disbursing officer (SDE) can withhold payment on such type of reasons for which you need to satisfy them with the work you would have accomplished on different days of the month.

So, whatever proof you have about the jobs accomplished on the days you were shown absent or asked to apply for EL., you can present to the appellate authority by representing against the action of your SDE or the AO. However, if you have submitted your EL application merely on verbal order without any written direction, you would have no proof to prove that even in CAT that you had to apply fr EL under compulsion.

Definitely, if you have some solid proof about your work during the days treated as absence and about forced leave application you can take up the case in the CAT.

yogesh thaware (Querist)
11 October 2012

Dear dingra sir,
There are various nonexecutive cadre in BSNL called telecom technical assistant, phone mechanic, telephone mechanic whose duty hours are fixed (about 8 hours).if they work beyond duty hours they can demand overtime payment. My belief is that a person whose duty hours are fixed will sign an attendance register to show his or her presence. My reference to fixed duty hours is in that context only wherein my SDE can show me absent if any compulsory attendance signing practice is there. since there is no uniform practice to sign attendance register for executive cadre of group b officers and above what is the documentary evidence to show me absent. I am a field working person and work hours stretch upto 9 or 10 in night many times. How can the SDE withheld my entire month salary without calling for an explanation and referring it to my disciplinary authority. Holding entire month salary almost tentamounts to dias-non which is a major disciplinary action.

yogesh thaware (Querist)
11 October 2012

Dear sudhir kumar sir
forget about dias non there is not even formal memo or show cause calling for an explanation for my absence.there is no charge sheet either

Has anybody prohibited you from maintaining a daily diary of your daily activities showing the business/jobs attended by you from time to time? I suppose, you are supplied with or allowed to purchase a table diary also for the purpose.

You may be attending jobs even for 16 hours a day, but, if unable to exhibit details of work when asked by your superior, just think how would you like to convince him about your presence in office or in the field?

Moreover, when you say, your SDE is biased, you need to be more attentive in keeping details of the jobs attebnded by you on each day. However, if you have such details, better submit appeal to your appellate authority with complete details and get the period regularised. On rejection of appeal, you can approach CAT also.

Sudhir Kumar (Expert)
11 October 2012

So you mean to sy that you were not absent and still salary is being deducted.

You should represent to the department without which you cannot go to CAT.

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