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Papad seller fights for his rights for 28 years
Sunday, March 14, 2010 07:55:57 PM, Kanu Sarda, IANS
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New Delhi: Mohammad Samad Khan, a papad seller in West Bengal, has been fighting for his rights with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the energy giant, for the past 28 years but has not lost hope.
It started in 1982 when the NTPC acquired the land of Khan and others for the Farakka thermal power project in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
The NTPC had then promised all those who had given their land a job under its rehabilitation scheme which laid down that any one family member would be given employment in the corporation on the basis of educational eligibility and technical experience.
Khan, along with 1,000 other people, had given their land to the NTPC, hoping to get a job. But he was not among the lucky ones who got a job.
Khan got a letter from the NTPC in 1984 saying he will get a job soon, but despite repeated reminders nothing happened.
In 1988, the NTPC called him for the post of storekeeper, but his candidature was rejected.
In 1991, he again knocked at the NTPC's doors, but in vain. He then decided to take the help of the Right To Information (RTI) act for justice.
But when the NTPC did not gave him satisfactory answers, he appealed to the Central Information Commission (CIC), which asked the corporation to give Khan Rs.11 lakh as compensation for not providing him information.
Khan is now in Delhi as the central government had filed an appeal against the CIC order.
"I will continue to fight for my rights," Khan told IANS in an interview.
Though Justice S. Muralidhar earlier this week set aside the CIC order directing the NTPC to pay compensation, the high court asked the state-owned firm to consider his case for a job.
The high court held that the Commission can grant compensation only when an applicant suffers loss due to denial of information.
Khan had approached the CIC after the NTPC refused to give him certain information regarding his job.
The court ordered the NTPC to give him Rs.5,000 as litigation expenses.
"My fight will continue till the time I get justice. I have no money left but I will still fight," Khan said.
The court said: "Considering that the respondent (Khan) is not a resident of Delhi and has come here only for the purposes of this case, it is directed that the learned counsel for the NTPC will arrange to have another set of the entire information and documents provided to him."
Sonia Mathur, counsel for Khan, told the court that "Khan has already suffered for the past 28 years and the government should now at least help him out."
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