The Supreme Court has imposed ₹ One Lakh costs on the School Education Department of the Tamil Nadu Government for filing frivolous petitions and dragging the pension matter of a Sweeper-cum-Sanitary Worker to the Apex Court.

A Bench comprising Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Hrishikesh Roy was hearing the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the School Education Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, questioning the directions passed by the Division Bench of the Madras High Court, allowing pensionary rights to a Sweeper-cum- Sanitary Worker.

The High Court had directed that the Sweeper-cum- Sanitary Worker be given pensionary benefits by taking into account 50% of the service rendered before regularization alongwith his regular service. Pertinently, the services of the Sweeper-cum-Sanitary Worker were regularized from the year 2002 on the directions of the High Court, though he was engaged way back in the year 1992 on a consolidated pay of Rs. 105/- per month.

"The baseless review petition filed by the present petitioners was also dismissed by the Division Bench of the High Court", said the Supreme Court.

The Sweeper-cum-Sanitary Worker, who superannuated in 2012, had gone through several stages of litigation including the writ petitions, intra-court appeal, and even a review petition.

"In the totality of the circumstances, [w]e (impose) exemplary costs where, unnecessarily this matter relating to pensionary rights of a Sweeper-cum- Sanitary Worker is sought to be dragged in further litigation", said the Apex Court.

"These petitions are dismissed with costs quantified at Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One lakh), to be deposited by the petitioners in the welfare fund of the Supreme Court Employees Welfare Association within four weeks from today", ordered the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court further said that the costs might be recovered from the persons/officers responsible for protracting and sanctioning such frivolous litigation without sufficient cause.

Cause Title- The Principal Secretary & Ors v. K. Lakshmanan & Anr.

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