LUCKNOW: In some good news for government employees, Lucknow's consumer dispute redressal forum has ruled that government employees who take loans from their departments and pay interest on the sum will henceforth be regarded at par with other 'consumers' of the department.
The ruling was made in response to a complaint made by Ahmad Hussain, a retired official of the postal department. During his years at the department, Hussain took a loan of Rs 69,620 for constructing a house.
The defending party, in this case the Department of Post and its officers, in their counter-affidavit submitted to the forum accepted that Hussain was an employee of the postal department and that he had taken a loan. Officials of DoP also accepted that the complainant had re-paid the loan with an interest amount.
The forum, in the matter, observed that the complainant is a consumer because he took a loan from his department and paid interest on the same. Granting of a loan to an employee was a service given by the postal department to Hussain.
Further, by earning interest on the loan amount the department also made profits on the service rendered.
In such situations, the forum added, despite being an employee of the department, the complainant will also be considered a consumer of the department. Despite the fact that complainant paid back the loan along with an interest, postal department could not return the complainant's document. "This amounts to lack in service," observed the forum. The DoP has now been ordered to not only return Hussain's original documents within a month from getting the certified copy of the forum's order, but also pay him a compensation amount of Rs 5,000 for mental harassment and another Rs 5,000 as litigation cost.
Source: The Times of India