Jawan wins 11-yr battle

The Madras high court has given a reprieve, after an 11-year-long legal battle, to a Territorial Army instructor who who missed the opportunity of being appointed as forest guard in the forest department of Tamil Nadu as he was deputed to Jammu and Kashmir to defend the country’s border while waiting for his appointment letter.

Justice Vinod K. Sharma allowed the petition filed by K. Subramaniam and directed the district forest officer (DFO), Tiruchy, to appoint him as forest guard with effect from the date of selection but without monetary benefit on account of retrospective appointment.

M. Ravi, counsel for petitioner, submitted that Subramaniam was serving as physical training instructor (part-time) in the Territorial Army, Tiruchy, when he was sponsored by the employment exchange for selection and appointment as forest guard. While he was waiting for his appointment letter, the Territorial Army deputed him to Jammu and Kashmir.

On his return, Subramaniam learnt that in view of his selection as forest guard his registration cannot be renewed. The forest department also did not appoint him on the ground that his selection letter was returned unserved.

Subramaniam then approached the army authorities who wrote to the DFO pointing out the reason, but despite this no actin was taken, the counsel pointed out.

The judge pointed out that immediately on return from Jammu and Kashmir, the petitioner approached the DFO for appointment, but his request was refused without any written order.

Power services asked to repair junction boxes

Residents of Chennai, who have often been exposed to open electricity junction boxes and loose cables, especially during the monsoon, can breathe a sigh of relief as the Madras high court has directed the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (Tangedco) to carry out periodic inspections and repair or replace damaged junction boxes and poles within three days to prevent any unfortunate incidents in the form of electrocution.

A petition by Nethaji Pokkuvarathu Thozhilalargal Pathukappu Thozhir Sangam submitted that electricity connection boxes erected several years ago on streetsides were open and thus posed danger to the pulic, particularly schoolchildren.

The situation was grave in Villivakkam, Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar and Shanthi Colony, said R Y George Williams, counsel for the petitioner.

The open boxes also give rise to a possibility of theft. Williams said a representation was made to the authorities to rectify the situation but there was no response.

Tangedco filed a counter that damaged junction boxes have been replaced in most places and had listed the locations where damaged mini pillar boxes and poles were replaced in and around Anna Nagar, Thirumangam, Shanthi Colony, Shenoy Nagar, Avadi, Ambattur and Pattibiram areas.

A division bench of Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam said, “Considering the steps taken by the board, no further direction needs to be issued in the petition.

However, it is made clear that the board shall make a periodical inspection of the junction boxes/poles and take immediate steps to carry out repair works or replacements of the damaged junction boxes/poles.”

Petition filed to direct long distance buses to keep first aid box

An advocate has approached the Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to direct the state-owned transport corporations and private bus operators to keep first aid boxes in long distance buses.

Commission chairperson (incharge) Baskar, before whom the complaint filed by advocate V.S. Suresh came up for hearing, ordered notice to the managing director of SETC, returnable in four weeks.

Suresh said that most government-owned

transport corporation buses did not have first-aid boxes though the Motor Vehicles Act mandated it.

Crew members of long-distance buses stopped the vehicles on their whims and fancies, where
passengers did not have access to hygienic food at affordable prices or even restroom facilities, the petitioner claimed, adding that the inadequacies amounted to human rights violations.

Suresh said he had sent a representation to the authorities concerned but had got no response.

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