Mumbai: Observing that the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) acted in the most ‘inhumane’ manner, the Bombay High Court recently slammed the authority for declaring one of its employees as ‘medically unfit’ to work despite the medical reports suggesting otherwise. The HC has accordingly ordered the MSRTC to pay the back-wages (from 2012 to 2016) to the family of the employee, who was partially paralysed.

A bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and Shreeram Modak also ordered the MSRTC to appoint the employee’s son on a compassionate basis, since he had died. The bench was moved by the employee’s son seeking a job on a compassionate basis.

Notably, the employee in question was appointed in November 1980 and was dismissed from services in June 2006 on account of remaining absent due to illness. However, he was reinstated into service in 2012 following the orders of the HC. Soon after the employee resumed the office of the MSRTC, he was referred to a medical board, which submitted its report. The report was, however, not given to the employee and he was only informed that it declares him medically unfit and his services were terminated. Accordingly, the employee’s son moved the bench of Justice Ghuge.

Having considered the facts of the case, Justice Ghuge said, “We were intrigued by the fact that despite our repeated requests to the MSRTC to tell us as to what was the ground on which the deceased was declared unfit for any work and therefore, it terminated his service, we were not shown the report of the medical board.”

“After repeated requests, the report was produced before us and we were shocked to learn that the medical board had clearly recorded that the deceased was fit for duties and he should be given a light job,” the bench noted.

The judges further noted that from 2017 onwards, the MSRTC had been misleading the court that the medical board had declared the employee as unfit.

“It is, therefore, obvious that the MSRTC has made a well-planned attempt to mislead us, as well as deprive the deceased of his daily bread by terminating him from service on the ground that he was completely unfit to perform any duty. On one hand, the deceased had suffered partial paralysis and on the other hand, the MSRTC treated him in the most inhuman manner by rendering him unemployed at such a stage in life when he desperately required an earning,” the judges said.

The bench further said that the MSRTC has not only acted in a ‘stone-hearted’ manner but showed scant respect for life and the law applicable.

“What is shocking, is that MSRTC kept the medical board report under wraps and has maintained utmost secrecy about the said report as it had recorded that the deceased should have been continued in employment on a light post. Such behaviour of the authority cannot be countenanced,” Justice Ghuge said in his orders.

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