In the twilight of life, man awaits dues since 87
Ludhiana, May 05PAU IN THE DOCK: Despite orders by varsitys pension grievances panel, 86-year-old Mukhtiar Singhs wait continues
When it comes to the state government treating its pensioners, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is all vocal.
But the university itself has not paid the pension due to an employee.
Meet 86-year-old Mukhtiar Singh, who is awaiting his dues since 1987. Despite orders by the PAU's Pension Grievances Committee, red tapeism within the institution has almost broken his spirit.
Had it not been Hardas Singh, who too retired from PAU and decided to help him get a relief, Mukhtiar Singh would have lost all hope.
Explaining the plight of Mukhtiar, Hardas (89) says, "I did not want to meddle in the university affairs but the hardships Mukhtiar was facing due to callous attitude of people at the helm of affairs forced me to take up his case. The fight has not been easy. The people at comptroller office gave me the records only after I used the RTI Act."
Hardas adds: "Mukhtiar has served the Army from 1941 to 1961. He has also taken part in the Second World War and the China war. In 1964, he joined the varsity as a 'beldar' and retired from the post in 1981. At that time there was no pension scheme in PAU and hence he was paid his provident fund. When PAU introduced the pension scheme in 1991, which was in effect from 1986, Mukhtiar surrendered his provident fund contribution and opted for pension. However in doing so PAU stopped a part of Mukhtiar's army pension since April, 1987, without informing him or serving him a notice. The authorities deducted Rs 1,000 from his Army pension fund every month.
The university directly instructed the bank to withhold Mukhtiar's pension.
Thus, began Mukhtiar's struggle. His case came up for a hearing in the Pension Grievances Committee way back in 2004. In the process, some dishonest officials working at PAU comptroller office took his signature on some papers which were not explained to him.
Later, these papers were put forward as an apology tendered by Mukhtiar to the varsity saying that it was his fault that he had disclosed to PAU that he had been getting an army pension as well. While the reality is that the so-called disclosure rule was enacted in the varsity in 1993 and is not applicable in Mukhtiar's case. A similar judgement was given by a committee in 2004 , which gave it in writing that Muktiar has all the right to draw his army pension."
Singh adds, "But there is no relief as yet.
He has been making rounds of offices of various VCs since 2003. We had met V-C Dr M S Kang five months ago. We explained the entire case to him, who too agreed that injustice had been meted out to this man and that the situation would be corrected soon. But the wait continues."
Dr R K Mahey, registrar, PAU, who also holds the post of comptroller PAU said, "I have no information about the case but if it is brought to my notice we will certainly look into the matter."