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DRACONIAN RULE OF CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE

DRACONIAN RULE OF CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE 
A DEMOCLE’S SWORD
 (By M.R.MEENAKSHISUNDARAM, Retired Supervisor, SBCO, Chennai GPO)

 PREAMBLE

             Department of Post is a very big organisation with multifarious functions and spread over the entire country. Due to the vast business turnover as well the huge size of the human resources employed in the day to day functioning, there will be some losses to the organisation at times. Any enterprise this size will have some unscrupulous and shady characters amidst the staff. There will be losses due to frauds, theft and burglary, excess payments and compensation to be paid in consumer cases. Even so the loss due to these aspects is negligible compared to the revenue accrued through business. In Nationalised Banks million and millions of money is written off as loss due to bad debts. But in our department not even a single paise is allowed to be written off as the Administration is very keen in recovering the loss from its employees whether the employee is directly responsible or not. In my 39 years of service in this Department, I came across almost all type of cases of recoveries towards pecuniary loss and dealt with them. It is my humble opinion that the bureaucracy usually acts in an inhuman way to recover the loss though they have powers to write off the loss. For instance the Director of Postal Services has power to write off any excess payments in Savings Accounts and there is no monitory limit. In my experience I was able to convince a DPS to accord sanction to write off some minus balances in Savings Accounts as they were pending more than 10 years and the Chief Postmaster was trying to recover the excess payments from the staff who has no part in the transactions. The problem with the present staff is that they don’t want to familiarise with necessary rules of the Branch where they work. In spite of their superior academic qualifications, the present staff’s knowledge in departmental ruling is dismal and so the Administration is able to capitalise on the lack of knowledge and impose punishment of recovery without much difficulty. With current level of shortage of staff in Post Offices and the unwanted decentralisation of Accounting system, there is bound to be a lot of frauds as well as short comings/lapses on the part of the operative staff due to heavy workload. If this state of affairs continues, almost all the staffs have a permanent column in their pay bill under recovery towards Audit Objections. The Rule of recovery is a draconian rule though the rule was introduced with good intentions and the Administration utilises this rule to impose recovery unilaterally to all employees without any sympathy. First of all we have to understand the implication of this rule and then try to tackle it. Here are some aspects of the Rule:



 
courtesy : sapost

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