Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Bank has been 'magnanimous' enough to pay salary to a few dozen employees even for the period when they were out of job! This strange decision was taken by its director board likely after the intervention of the Minister for Cooperation, Tourism and Devaswom Kadakampally Surendran.
The beneficiaries of this largesse are 31 people who were terminated from service 10 years ago from the State Cooperative Bank after a court order annulling their appointment to temporary posts in 2008. Incidentally, Kadakampally was the President of the Bank then.
However, some regular employees people went to the High Court against these appointments following which the court ordered the termination the temporary staff.
The then Cooperation Minister G Sudhakaran (2006–2011) immediately issued an order complying with the court verdict. The terminated temporary staff approached the Supreme Court but could not get any relief.
Subsequently many of these sacked employees went to the Middle East. Some of them even got jobs in other states.
When Kadakampally became the Cooperation minister after the LDF came back to power in 2016 those who were terminated from services initiated an organised move to get their jobs reinstated. At this time efforts to transform the State Cooperative Bank into the Kerala Bank were on.
On the instruction of a few in the Minister's office the terminated staff then approached the Cooperative Arbitration Court. The court ordered that the terminated staff should be reinstated on humanitarian grounds. But the court did not accept their plea for granting retrospective effect to their re-employment.
Subsequently, on the likely directive of the minister, the Kerala Bank director board meeting decided to sanction salary for the terminated staff for the period when they were not in service. As per the decision of the director board each reinstated employee would receive Rs 6.50 lakh on account of salary dues, sources in the Bank claimed.
Not only that the staff was elevated to the post of office attendants by passing seniority of 397 people. With this decision their salaries also went up from Rs 29,700 to Rs 52,500.