Andher Nagari:Bangalore:Women under attack. Police should wake up


Women under attack.

Police should wake up

Assault must STOP now!

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: More than 70 cases of moral policing in Karnataka over the past six months, and police commissioner Shankar Bidari’s comment that the incidents in Bangalore were ‘stray’ cases: protesting against attacks on women and police inaction, over 200 persons under the banner of Fearless Karnataka gathered in front of the DG & IGP’s office on Nrupathunga Road on Saturday. Men and women from all walks of life, including sexual minorities, foreigners and members of various development organizations, voiced their anguish.

In the absence of DG & IGP Ajay Kumar Singh, IGP (grievance) R P Sharma met the protesters and assured them that the cases will be investigated and a meeting will be scheduled next week.

The activists said commissioner Bidari’s response was irresponsible and led to greater fear in women. “He has to be pulled up for his statement,” Vimochana spokesperson Dona Fernandez said.

“I have to hear both sides and investigate. Your security is our concern,” Sharma said.

MORE ATTACKS COME TO LIGHT

More cases of attacks on women are coming to light. Olivia (name changed), a young American who has been working here for the past two years, said she was attacked last month. “I was feeding a pup on a road in Sanjaynagar when a car almost ran over it. When I went protested, the driver backed at a high speed and tried to hit me. I fell on a motorcycle and was injured. I can identify the men.

The police in Sanjaynagar did not register my complaint. They asked me to go to Hebbal, where I was told to go to R T Nagar. I don’t know why. They were just not ready to take the complaint,” she said.

The protesters said investigations in the two registered cases have been insensitive towards the victim. “After aggressive sessions with police, they come away feeling they are the wrongdoers” their memorandum states.

“There have been seven attacks in Bangalore and assaults take place everyday in other parts of the state, especially Mangalore. The burkha ban is ridiculous. Here they attack us for wearing jeans and there they have problems with women covering their bodies? What are we doing?” said a furious Shakun Mohini, a member of Vimochana.

HELP IS HERE
The protesters came up with colourful posters and slogans like ‘Stop cultural fascism’, ‘Do you enjoy seeing women being beaten up? Be a man!’, and a helpline too: ‘Single and looking for help? Call me on 9986804264’.

CAMPAIGNS TODAY
Awareness campaign from 6 pm: People will gather at five locations across the city ‘Take Back The Night, Take Back Our Streets’ at 9 pm: Gathering at Bannappa Park new-picture-15

Madras:Anderson Church at Parrys turns 150


Anderson Church at Parrys turns 150

Daniel P George | TNN 

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Chennai: The Church of South India’s Anderson Church at Parrys turned 150 on Tuesday, March 3. The following Sunday, a special thanksgiving service was held, presided over by Rt Rev V Devasahayam, the Bishop-in-Madras of the Church of South India.
It was on February 22, 1837 that Reverend John Anderson arrived in Madras as the first missionary of the Church of Scotland.

He established The General Assembly’s School in a rented house on the east side of Armenian Street with the headmaster and 59 boys from the St Andrew’s School forming the core (the institution in 1877 became the Madras Christian College and School and shifted to George Town).

In March 1855, Anderson died. Four years later, the Anderson Church was constructed, with Reverend P Rajagopaul, the first convert of Anderson, becoming the first minister of the church. Surprisingly, the name of Anderson, an educationist, is associated more with the church than with the school he founded.

For decades, the church remained a landmark of the Madras Christian College on the Esplanade until the college was shifted to new premises in Tambaram (1937).

Currently, the church is the only building of the institution that remains in Parrys. At the thanksgiving, Reverend J Jacqulin Jothi of the church said: “At this moment we are grateful to John Anderson and remember his yeoman service to the society. He taught us the joy of giving and we pledge to rededicate ourselves to serving society and the downtrodden.’’

Echoing a similar sentiment was E Martin Caleb, secretary of the church. “It is a proud moment for the entire congregation as we celebrate 150 years and remember John Anderson for his selfless service,’’ he said.

“I live in Anna Nagar. On the way to Anderson Church, there are eight CSI churches but I prefer to go to my parent church, Anderson,’’ Samuel Vijayakumar, church treasurer.

On Sunday, a special prayer was also held at the grave where Anderson and his wife lie buried – at the Old London Mission Cemetery on Thana Street.

The CSI Anderson Church is listed as a landmark heritage building by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Tamil Nadu chapter, and Chennai Heritage.

daniel.george@timesgroup.com

Lawyers and Judges Madras HC: A scathing report


Panel: Striking lawyers behaved like hooligans

Police used excess force than required

Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN 

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New Delhi: Striking Madras High Court lawyers behaved like “hooligans and miscreants” and were squarely responsible for triggering the bloody February 19 clashes between advocates and police, the Supreme Court-appointed inquiry panel headed by retired SC judge B N Srikrishna has said.

An otherwise vociferous group of lawyers from Tamil Nadu present inside the chief justice’s court listened in stunned silence as every line of the 22-page caustic report was read out by senior advocate R Vaigai.

Justice Srikrishna held Madras HC and its acting chief justice equally responsible for the lawyers’ rowdy behaviour.

“The soft-pedalling policy of the HC judges has led to the present piquant situation,” the report said, adding the soft policy of the acting chief justice only emboldened the lawyers to become law breakers.

Commenting on the advocates who brazenly threw stones against police to incite them, Justice Srikrishna said, “Regretfully, far from being upholders of the rule of law, the lawyers seem to have behaved as hooligans and miscreants.”

Clearly putting the blame on the lawyers as instigators, the report said, “The incidents that transpired over a month or so make it clear that the lawyers seemed to be under the impression that, because they are officers of the court, they are immune from the process of law and that they could get away with any unlawful act without being answerable to the law enforcing agency.”

It narrated how lawyers had been exceeding norms by holding public meetings within the HC and that too to celebrate the birthday of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran, who has been declared an absconding accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

“Undoubtedly, political cross-currents from the Sri Lankan Tamil issues and castebased issues contributed to and aggravated the situation.

It should have been made clear to the lawyers from the beginning, in no uncertain terms, that whatever their political ideologies, the court premises could not be utilised for airing them,” Justice Srikrishna said.

If lawyers were the instigators, the police did not behave in a responsible manner and used force much in excess of what was required to disperse the lawyers, the report said. While giving a clean chit to the Chennai police commissioner and other senior cops who had been transferred on SC orders to facilitate a fair probe, the report said,

There is no material, at this time, to suggest that any of the officers had directed or ordered the policemen to behave in the atrocious manner in which they behaved.”

Though the report justified police action, it said that “police went much beyond what was permissible use of force”. “They indulged in wanton lathi blows to lawyers, who were not even resisting or being violent, wanton destruction of property, both inside the compound as well as the court premises and then in the chambers of lawyers inside and outside the court complex,” it added.

SC sends report to HC, TN govt

With TN lawyers refusing suggestions from the SC to end their strike, the top court decided to send the Justice Srikrishna report to Madras HC and the TN government for further action.

When the lawyers, present in large numbers in the court room, repeatedly asked for action against police officials first, a bench asked them for a response for that part of the report which blamed the advocates.

The bench also rejected their demand for a judicial probe into the February 19 violence. TNN

Government getting a taste of people’s power in metros


Col Kohal & Mr Pankaj Agarwal President & Secretary respectively of Delhi RWAs Joint Front took a delegation of RWAs to the office of Mr Ajay Maken, Minister on the deteriorating conditions of Deer & District Parks & a few other issues of South Delhi.

Mr Ajay Maken & Prof Kiran Walia both visited these Parks on 28th Feb 09. I forwarded to you copy of Memorandam  which we gave to Ministers & also a few photographs covering  one & half hour visit of Ministers to these Parks.

Minister’s visit has been  covered by Ms Garima Vohra of HT Live South Delhi. Attaching the Press clipping & e-link of HT for your information please. It is understood that after the visit of Ministers, there has been momentum in the activities of DDA officials & we hope to see some good  eye soothing environment change in  these parks. Lets hope for the best.

Regards

S L Watwani

PS:  Visit of Minister was also shown by NDTV Metronation & Sahara NCR & Samay at their News Channels.

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We had sent Press Briefing to a few more Newspapers/Magazines & hope that they will also cover the news shortly.

Government getting a taste of people’s power in metros

Aparna Ramalingam | TNN

Chennai: As the country gears up for elections, a different kind of movement is making its presence felt in India. Call it neighbourhood activism, private-public partnership civic movement or urban development movement, citizens are becoming more proactive than ever before in voicing concerns on issues affecting their lives — security, water, electricity, sanitation, good roads, to name a few.

As Adolf D’ Souza of the Juhu Citizens Welfare Group in Mumbai puts it, “The participatory approach is the way forward. We can’t be solely dependent on politicians and other authorities. People are clamouring for political and judicial reforms more so after 26/11. Citizen groups need to intervene politically.” For the record, D’ Souza is also a corporator from Juhu.

Community activism is pretty aggressive in India’s capital New Delhi. Residents’ welfare associations in Delhi have locked horns time and again with the government and other agencies on numerous issues and have also been successful in some. In 2003, the associations, with support from the media, scuttled CAS (conditional access system) in Delhi as it was not citizen-friendly.

The whole aim of CAS was to bring in regulation in the television space. While the intentions seemed noble, the ground reality was different. Set-top boxes were prohibitively priced (upwards of Rs 2,500) and there were many reports of cable operators extorting huge sums money from residents under the guise of implementing CAS. But residents did not take this lying down and there was quite a bit of public outrage to this new form of viewing. CAS was eventually rolled out in Delhi after modifications in 2006-end.

Similarly, in 2005, the Delhi government was forced to completely rollback the 10% power tariff hike effected by private distribution companies on account of vociferous protests from the public. “We make it a point to raise our voice against any lapse in governance which in turn affects our lives,” says Anant Trivedi, founder member, United Residents’ Joint Action (URJA) group, a body which took up the issue of inflated power bills and faulty meters three years ago. Around 500 residents’ associations in Delhi are registered with URJA, of which 150 are active.

But all is not rosy on the public activism front. In 1999, the SM Krishna government in Karnataka had launched BATF (Bangalore Agenda Task Force), a public-private partnership model to address issues related to the crumbling infrastructure in the garden city on account of rapid urbanisation due to the IT boom.

India’s silicon valley was plagued with a variety of civic problems like traffic congestion, garbage accumulation, water and electricity shortage. BATF comprised prominent volunteers like Nandan Nilekani, the IT czar, and Ramesh Ramanathan of public governance not-for-profit institution Janaagraha. The organisation’s main objective was to closely work with various civic departments in the state to make Bangalore a better place.

Unfortunately, BATF made a premature exit after Dharam Singh came to power in Karnataka in 2004. According to observers, the top leadership in Congress felt that Krishna’s obsession with urban issues proved detrimental to the Congress in the 2004 general elections.

So the new government distanced itself from the corporate world. Bangalore now has ABIDe (Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development), a task force that is being headed by corporate czar and Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

MASSMATTERS

Residents’ associations in Delhi scuttled the implementation of conditional access system in 2003

Also in Delhi, residents’ associations forced state government to withdraw 10% hike in power tariff in 2005

In Mumbai, citizens are becoming more proactive and united in security matters post 26/11

Bangalore used to have BATF (Bangalore Agenda Task Force), a publicprivate initiative, which folded up in 2004

In Chennai, citizens took to rainwater harvesting after the 2002 drought and the results are showing — there is a considerable rise in the city’s water tables

RTI: CIC happy. Judiciary will be a little more transparent now


HC aligns its RTI rules with CIC guidelines

Major Relief For Info Seekers

Abhinav Garg | TNN 


New Delhi: After drawing heavy criticism for framing RTI rules that went against the parent Act, the Delhi High Court, in a major climbdown, has amended some of the rules.

Most notably, it has done away with the requirement that RTI applicants show how they are an ‘‘affected party’’ while seeking information, a caveat forbidden by the Act.

A notification to this effect has been issued and figures on HC’s website from Thursday. The move is an attempt to allign HC’s special RTI rules with the parent Act. TOI had, in December last year, reported that a judges’ committee of HC was reviewing the rules as the Chief Justice had admitted some of the HC provisions ran contrary to the Act.

HC’s rules on information sharing have been repeatedly held to be ‘‘in direct conflict with RTI Act’’ by the Central Information Commission in its rulings.

In its amendment exercise, HC has deleted Clause 4 (IV) of RTI rules that permitted it to allow access of information only to ‘‘affected persons’’ and deny to those who don’t explain their locus on why such an information is required.

HC has also tinkered with Section 5 (A) that exempted it from revealing any information which is ‘‘not already in the public domain’’. This meant HC could deny information to a seeker on the ground it was available elsewhere, a rule frowned upon by transparency advocates.

The third key allignment lies in Rule 4 (I) that till now gave the court’s public information officer a luxury of 15-20 days to respond to an RTI plea, which sought information beyond his jurisdiction. He has to now inform the applicant within five days and return the plea.

The CIC had repeatedly taken a dim view of these sections. Speaking to Times City, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah welcomed the move. ‘‘I have been adjourning cases related to Delhi HC because we were waiting for the rules to be brought in allignment with the RTI Act, as had been promised. This is heartening news,’’ the CIC said.

KEY CHANGES

‘Affected Party’ clause done away with. An RTI applicant will now not be required to show how info sought affects him

‘Public Domain’ clause removed.

HC will now have to also furnish info that is not available elsewhere

In case info sought is not in court’s jurisdiction but pertains to other authorities, PIO to respond within 5 days

Holi: Wishing All A Happy & Colorful Holi


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Watwani sends you the following message.

Let us join in and wish each other.

May God Splash

COLORS

of Success &       Prosperity over

You & Your Family.

Courts, Judges, Lawyers and Litigants:Madras


Courts, Judges, Lawyers

Advocates of the Madras high court who have struck work for the Sri Lankan cause and as a result only worked nine days so far this year.

Till February 18, when they promised to come back to work, advocates had not put in a single day’s work this month.  With the court scheduled to work 210 days this year, that’s a lot of non-working days to compensate for.

The high court is already reeling under a backlog of over 4.5 lakh cases.  That is 43,000 cases more than what was pending when 2007 began. By the end of 2007, the number of pending cases was 4,28,832.

It’s just been piling up since then. The problem has been that even advocates who want to work have not been allowed to.

Last month the court was witness to seniors being pulled out of court rooms, in front of judges, and compelled to join the strike. At least 57 advocates have been charged for various protests including an attack on  the Bank of Ceylon.

Some years ago, when then chief justice A P Shah, responding to an advisory issued by the Supreme Court, increased the working days from 210 to 220 and cut the summer recess by a week, there was resistance from the advocates.

The move was revoked and advocates instead offered to work 15 minutes extra every day, which is why the court now sits till 4.45 pm.

Who guards the seat of justice?

Madras HC Campus Sans Security Since Feb 19

A Subramani | tnn new-picture-9


Chennai: Post February 19 violence, who is guarding Madras high court? No one.

After the court premises witnessed the worst violence in its history involving police and advocates on February 19, the entire campus has been left to take care of itself. “Luckily no untoward incident has happened on the campus during the period,” said a senior advocate.

The situation was highlighted before the Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan on March 3, when the Tamil Nadu government’s senior counsel Ashok Desai asked if some armed policemen, escorting remand and undertrial prisoners, could be permitted to enter the high court premises.

On his part, senior advocate K K Venugopal, representing the high court, too wanted police force for the security and day-to-day administration of the high court and other courts on the campus. The bench, however, said the (acting) chief justice of the Madras high court was at liberty to pass appropriate orders in the matter.
With the ball back on its court, the Madras high court is now debating the possibility of evolving a security plan for its premises, where not a single policeman in uniform has stepped in since the February 19 violence.
In fact, the state chief secretary has written to the high court authorities, bringing to their notice the utter lack of security at the premises at the moment. The high court building is an iconic structure, and it requires extra care, the official has said.
Pointing out that no security has been provided by police within the high court premises from February 19, he has said that the access control system introduced on January 28 too was not in operation. “I, therefore, request you to take adequate steps to ensure protection in the building and its environs from any untoward happening,” the chief secretary has said.

To begin with, authorities may permit armed policemen, escorting remand and undertrial prisoners to sessions courts, to enter the high court premises.

OPEN COURT: There is no security at the high court building since the violence

HC suspends 2 judges for not vacating houses

A Subramani | TNN

Chennai: In a development that shocked the entire subordinate judiciary in Tamil Nadu, two senior district judges were suspended from service for delay in handing over their official residential quarters after they were transferred.

The administrative decision of the Madras high court was conveyed to the principal district judge of Tuticorin district, PS Avadi Thiagaraja Moorthy, and the principal district judge of Ramanathapuram, K Jayabalan, on Wednesday.

“Suspension for a non-service issue, such as residential quarters, is disproportionate, and certainly not acceptable to the subordinate judiciary,” said a magistrate, who added that the judges had children studying in Chennai.

“Imagine the plight of the children, whose annual examinations have already commenced. Worse, it is a big loss of face for the judges, who now cannot face litigants and advocates confidently,” he said. The two senior judges were not heard before their suspension, and they have been directed to hand over the keys to the flats on Pantheon Road in Egmore within 24 hours, said their colleague.

Suspension will be revoked after judges hand in the keys
Chennai: The suspension of judges PS Avadi Thiagaraja Moorthy and K Jayabalan for not vacating their residential quarters after being transferred would be revoked after they hand over their residences, a HC registry official said.

While Avadi Thiagaraja Moorthy was a special judge at the court for exclusive trial of bomb blast cases and TADA cases when he was transferred, Jayabalan was the first additional family court judge when he was shifted to Ramanathapuram.

“They were transferred out of Chennai in the middle of an academic year. While responding to the high court’s eviction notice, the judges said they should be permitted to remain in occupation till April-end when the exams would end,” a resident of the judges’ quarters on Pantheon Road said. “They were even ready to remit penal rent at market rate,” he added.

“Two flats are vacant and two are occupied by HC judges, who were elevated from service. Not long ago, two district judges were permitted to remain in their quarters even one year after retirement,” he added.

Bank rescues village from money lenders


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Bank rescues village from money lenders

K Ranganath | TNN

Tavarekere (Kolar dist): This village in Mulbagal taluk, a stone’s throw away from Andhra Pradesh, was once mired in debt, thanks to exorbitant interest rates charged by private money lenders. Today, it’s money-lender free, thanks to the sincere efforts of Mandikal branch of Pragathi Gramina Bank.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram had dreamt of making villages across the country money-lender free. The Pragathi Gramina Bank, in tune with his wishes, has already taken up steps in this direction. Tavarekere is the second village to be declared free of money lenders.

The villagers, mostly labourers with one-third belonging to scheduled castes, were getting financial assistance from private money lenders in Andhra Pradesh. At least three financial firms, which claim to have been registered under RBI, would lend money and charge high interest. The recovery agents of Ammamma Bank, Future Financial Services and SKS Financiers, who claim to have registered offices in Chittor and other places, would visit the villages on a weekly basis to recover loan instalments. On an average, they’d recover over a lakh of rupees every fortnight.

When T Papanna, manager, Mandikal branch visited the village, he was horrified by the exorbitant rate of interest charged by them. To free the villagers from their clutches, he advised them to borrow from Gramina Bank.

A majority of them were on the black list of various banks. Papanna persuaded them to repay outstanding loans with concessions for one-time settlement. Later, he began financing villagers depending upon their needs. With better prospects for dairy activity there, the bank funded the purchase of 56 cross-breed cows, besides providing aid for other activities including business, piggery, poultry and other activities.

Shobha, a member of a women’s self-help group, said that she is happy to deal with the bank as the interest rate is affordable, and bankers don’t harass them for recovery unlike private money lenders. Narayanamma, who had no source of income a couple of years ago, is now a proud owner of six cross-breed cows and three calves.

The local Milk Producers Cooperative Society has joined hands with the bank authorities for recovering loans. Result: the branch’s overall recovery position is a stunning 98%.

SILKEN LINING
Shankarappa who was earning Rs 2,000 per month as a driver, now owns a sericulture farm after obtaining aid from the bank. Shankarappa owned five acres of land but couldn’t make adequate use of it owing to lack of funds.

The bank’s financial assistance has worked wonders. Now, in addition to the sericulture farm, he owns cattle. He has sent his son to study BBM at Kolar. He managed to achieve all this within a span of a year.

Chennai:Address-proof cards a big hit in city


Address-proof cards a big hit in city

11,127 Cards Issued By Postal Dept;

20,000 More Are Being Processed

Julie Mariappan | TNN

Chennai: MS Ramanujan, a senior postal department official, moved to Chennai from Sriharikota last year, but the rigmarole associated with shifting was a little more than what he had expected. Neither could he get an LPG connection nor a bank account as he didn’t possess any proof of residence.

The address-proof card, which the department of posts has come up with, is the brainchild of Ramanujam, who is now the postmaster-general. A total of 11,127 cards have been issued till date to Chennaiites; another 20,000 cards are in various stages of processing. So far, 70,000 applications have been sold out and another lakh of reprinted applications are on sale.
“The concept became a reality after a probe by field-level officials. The department wanted to enable the citizens to get a bonafide certificate for address, as our postmen alone have an intimate knowledge of the local people,” Ramanujam told TOI. The card also has details like date of birth, telephone and mobile numbers and blood group.

According to sources, over 100 applications reach the designated post offices every day. A Pushpa of Ramapuram, who moved here with her family from a southern district, considers the card a blessing. “All government departments demand proof of address to render their services, which is unreasonable,” she told TOI. Even taluk office requires the applicant, who seeks residential certificate, to stay in the said address for a minimum of two years.

The police, transport commissionerate, election department, civil supplies, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation, Southern Railway, LIC, BSNL, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Airport Authority of India, Regional Passport Officer and nationalised banks have been approached by postal officials to accept the card as bonafide proof.

“Except for Bank of Baroda, which asked for gazetted notification, no one has any problems with the card. In fact, passport officials are comfortable with applicants producing these cards,” sources said.

The department is planning to extend the scheme to tier-two cities like Tirunelveli and Salem and later to Kancheepuram and Dharmapuri. Details can be obtained from the business development cell (ph: 28594761) at the PMG’s office on Anna Salai.

PROOF POSITIVE
Taluk office requires the applicant, who seeks residential certificate, to stay in the stated address for a minimum of two years

The police, transport commissionerate, election department, civil supplies, Railways, BSNL, Airtel, Vodafone, Airport Authority of India, Passport Officer and nationalised banks have been informed by postal dept

The dept plans to extend the scheme to tier-two and tier-three cities

Mumbai:Registration fee: Relief for flat buyers


Registration fee: Relief for flat buyers

Sanjeev Shivadekar & Yogesh Naik I TNN 


Mumbai: The state government on Friday rescinded its earlier decision to levy a registration fee at a flat 1% of the market value of an apartment. The announcement was made by chief minister

Ashok Chavan after the state cabinet meeting on Friday.
With the Registration Fee and Stamp Duty Payers’ Association threatening to challenge the decision to increase the registration fee in court, and knowing that its move had not gone down well with the ‘common man’, the ruling Congress-NCP government decided to retain the existing registration system.

The builders’ lobby, too, was furious with the government for adding to the burden of flat purchasers. At a time when the realty sector has been hit by the slowdown, the revenue department on February 17 had issued a circular announcing hike in the registration fee.

Earlier, the registration fee was 1% of the current value of the flat, but not exceeding Rs 30,000. However, according to the latest circular, there was no cap on the maximum amount to be charged as the registration fee.

BMC pension notice stumps teachers

Anahita Mukherji I TNN

Mumbai: Imagine discovering, after a lifetime of working as a teacher, that you are not entitled to a single penny as pension. That’s exactly what a few hundred teachers from private-aided schools across the city found out when they received a circular from the BMC saying they did not have the necessary qualifications to teach and would not receive any pension.

“I have put in 35 years as a teacher and was appointed by the school on a permanent basis. I have received regular pay hikes over the past three decades.

However, suddenly, the BMC says I am not qualified to teach and won’t get any pension. How come the civic body paid my salary for all these years?’’ says a 59-year-old teacher who retired last year.

The BMC, in its letter to teachers, said they should have completed their DEd by June 1985. Many teachers said they had recently received a letter from the civic body, stating that as they had done a DpEd and not a DEd, they were not qualified to teach and so would not get their pension. Incidentally, both DpEd and DEd stand for a Diploma in Education, except that DpEd was the older version.

“We had sent a circular to private-aided schools telling them that only qualified teachers would receive their pension. We had also asked them to upgrade the qualifications of the teachers who did not have a DEd. Schools should have passed on the message to their teachers,’’ says Abbasaheb Jadhav, BMC education officer.

However, a number of private schools say they did not receive any prior information from the BMC. One of the teachers, who was denied pension, dragged the BMC to court and even won her case earlier this month.

“How can the BMC suddenly deny teachers their pension after 30-40 years in service? The municipal corporation did not even issue any showcause notice to these teachers in the past. In fact, the civic body has even paid them salaries accordion to BMC payscales,’’ said G S Walia, the lawyer who fought the teacher’s case free of cost.

On February 17, the high court set aside the BMC order for the teacher and asked the civic body to pay the dues to her.

anahita.mukherji@timesgroup.com