The Sr.Supdt. of Post Offices
Sub: - Irregular recovery of amount from the officials at the time retiring from the service under duress by threatening to issue Rule-14 charge sheets in the last minute of their retirement without giving the reasonable opportunity-Unilateral attitude of Divisional Administration in total violation of directorate guidelines on the subject-Reg
It has come to the notice of this divisional union that the divisional administration is irregularly ordering recovery from officials in the last hour of their retirement by threatening to issue charge sheet under Rule-14 of CCS(CCA) Rules 1965, without giving the reasonable opportunity and time for their explanation which is in contravention to the Directorate guide lines on the subject and against the very spirit of natural justice. This kind of attitude of the divisional administration is highly deplorable and unjust and this union takes strong objection against it.
In the case of frauds at Bollaram and Begumpet SOs and Secunderabad HO (case of passing of cheques without verifying the ledger balances), though said frauds came in to light way back in the year 2007,2011 and 2006 respectively the divisional administration has failed to identify the subsidiary offenders till date. It is very unfortunate and distressing that the total/actual defrauded amount in r/o Begumpet fraud case is yet to be finalized. But the divisional administration has resorted to ordering of recovery of part of the amount of fraud from certain officials who were about to retire from service on superannuation in the last minute under duress and threat with dire consequences of Disciplinary action under Rule-14. It is also brought to the notice of this union that while ordering the said recoveries the divisional administration is not even following the Directorate`s guidelines on the subject by not showing any recorded /documentary evidence to the implicated officials as subsidiary offenders in the case to hold their responsibility in the said fraud case and further the delinquent officials are not provided with any of the documents requested by them to prove their innocence.
In this connection this union feels It is necessary to draw and enlighten the attention of the Divisional Administration that, as per Rule 106 of Postal manual Vol-III, any recovery can only be imposed when it is established beyond reasonable doubt. As per Rule 48 (ii) of PO SB Manual Volume I, the Ledger Assistant at HO should post the entries in the ledgers concerned and any discrepancy noticed should be booked in to. Rule 18 of PO SB General Rules, 1981 empower the Postal Department to recover any amount paid excess to a depositor on the lines of recovery of arrears of Land Revenue by enforcing Revenue Act. Hence this Union demands for initiation of such action as per the Rule ibid in r/o settlement of the Minus balances in PO SB transactions. As per Rule 76 (b) of POSB Volume-I, Certain checks have to be done by the inspecting officers while inspecting the HOs/SOs, whether interest has been posted in to each and every Passbook or not and a certificate to that effect has been furnished by the SPM concerned or not. As per standard Inspection Questionnaire prescribed by the department vide para 27(ii) and 32 (c), checks should be made by the Inspecting authorities for verification of balances by issuance of SB-46 notices to the depositors concerned, and verification of SO balances concerned with HO ledgers but nothing to this extent appears to had not been done in the above said fraud cases for the past 8 years and it appears that the said failure on the part of Administration is desperately tried to conceal by way of hurry to fix up responsibility on innocent officials worked at HOs/SOs ignoring responsibility of the Inspecting personnel (ASPos/IPs/Mail Overseers) in a biased manner. As per Rule 107 of P&T Manual Vol-III, the disciplinary authority should correctly assess contributory negligence in a realistic manner while determining any omissions or lapses committed and the loss incurred by the Department considering the extenuating circumstances in which the duties were performed by the official at fault and giving due weight to the explanation offered, but nothing seems to had been done in the above cases.
It is the bounded responsibility of the divisional administration to show the related documents to the erring official to prove and establish the lapse of the official in any fraud case. It is also the responsibility of the disciplinary authority to provide reasonable opportunity to the delinquent official to prove his innocence in the said case. But in the recent incidents of unilateral recovery, the divisional administration has totally ignored the law of natural justice while recovering the amount and issuing the charge sheets to the subsidiary offenders in the above fraud cases.
In view of the above, this divisional union is requesting the divisional administration that the practice of ordering recovery in the last minute of the retirement of officials by threatening to issue Rule 14 charge sheets should be stopped forthwith. The said fraud cases were came into light long back and sufficient time has been consumed by the divisional administration to investigate in to the fraud cases but yet to finalize any. As such this Union demands for expeditious finalization of the fraud cases by identifying the actual subsidiary offenders and act according to the existing rules on the subject to preserve natural justice and save innocent officials by providing reasonable opportunity to them who ever involved/entangled in the said fraud cases as subsidiary offenders.
A line in reply in this regard will highly appreciated.