Promotions, retirement allowances for central administration staff in TN withheld pending verification of ST certificate

Dozens of workers struggling as their community’s claim comes under scrutiny. Disproportionate number of beneficiaries raises doubts and calls for verification, official says

The retirement benefits of several Central List Tribe employees have been withheld pending verification of their caste certificates by the government of Tamil Nadu. The promotions of dozens of employees were blocked for the same reason. The problem concerns employees, especially those claiming to belong to the Kattu Naicker and Malaikuravan communities, official sources said. The Hindu Tuesday.

The Personnel and Training Department, Ministry of Personnel, Public Claims and Pensions, has written to Chief Secretaries in all states / Union Territories indicating that there have been reported cases where employee retirement benefits working in various central government offices and organizations in Tamil Nadu were being held up on the grounds that their caste verification was pending by the state government, the sources said.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Welfare of List Castes and Tribes (SC & ST) took this seriously and asked the DoPT to issue the necessary guidelines to all concerned for a swift verification of the certificates.

Referring to the detailed guidelines established by the Supreme Court for effective verification so that no person on the basis of a false certificate can obtain unjustified employment in government, the DoPT stressed that the responsibility for issuing and the verification of the caste certificate is the responsibility of the government of the state / Union territory concerned.

Although the DoPT has issued various guidelines from time to time to streamline the verification process and requested the governments of state / union territories to conduct a timely verification, the appointing authority took “an inordinate amount of time. long to have the caste status verified by the national authorities concerned. which is totally in contravention of the existing instructions ”.

Quoting various circulars, including one which states that “verification of caste status at each significant resumption of an employee’s career is necessary … because an SC candidate loses his SC status if he embraces a religion other than Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism ”, the DoPT called on all state / union governments to ensure the completion of the verification within a reasonable time and to notify the appointing authorities within one month, have indicated the sources.

In the Southern Railway (SR) alone, about 80 cases of ST certificates are awaiting verification with the state government. Verification is carried out by the State Level Review Committee and the District Vigilance Committee. In addition to sending reminders, the Director General met with the authorities concerned with a request to speed up the process since career prospects and statutory benefits had been suspended.

The president of the Railway Federation of India, N. Kanniah, said the union had little role to play as the case involved the Center and state governments and legal process should prevail. The state administration should undertake the verification as a priority given the broader interests of employees and their families, he said.

According to a senior SR official, the majority of cases pending verification involved employees who had obtained ST certificates two or three decades ago when there was no online mechanism. The tax services had no record of the time to verify claims and had to depend on field visits and local inquiries into the family backgrounds of the staff involved.

While the employment reserve for the listed tribes is 7.5%, the size of the tribal population of Tamil Nadu is comparatively very small. The disproportionate number of beneficiaries raises doubts and calls for verifications, the official said.

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