Orissa man discovers he is ‘dead’ in records


Kendrapada (Orissa) : A man in Orissa found out that he has been dead in the official records for the past 5 years.

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Ratanakar Nayak, 56, works as a storekeeper in the zoology department at the Kendrapada College at Kendrapada town, 150 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, but since 1998 has not been getting his salary from the college.

This came to light when Nayak filed a petition under the Right To Information (RTI) Act to get his relevant service records.

The college authorities had stopped his salary, alleging that he had gone on an unauthorised leave from March 9, 1998, to April 13, 1998.

Nayak said he was suffering from blood pressure and diabetes, and the head of zoology department of the college had sanctioned his leave.

“He had also accepted my joining report on April 16, 1998, after the end of my leave period,” Naik told IANS.

Nayak is still working in the college, though he has not been paid his salary since then.

Nayak filed a petition in the Orissa High Court against the college authorities and the court instructed the state education department to sort out the matter in three months.

When the college authorities failed to heed the directive, Nayak filed a petition under the RTI Act.

“I was shocked when the authorities handed me the old records. The college principal at that time had written a letter to the higher education department that I was dismissed from the job in 1998. It also said that I died in 2002 and the college abolished the post of storekeeper. All this when I am still working and will retire only in 2010,” he said.

N.N. Sharma, the principal of the Kendrapada College said: “Ratnakar was dismissed from the service in 1998 and the college authoritiesy had informed the officials of higher education department to abolish his post.”

“I cannot say why at that time he was declared dead in the government record.”