Loco pilots reinstated 6 years after being removed from service:
Victory for the loco pilots of Indian Railways

Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent

After 6 years of struggle for justice, Kolkata High Court ordered reinstatement of 5 Loco Pilots (LPs) & Assistant Loco Pilots (ALPs), who had been removed from service under the draconian 14/II rule.

On 3rd November 2018, a young ALP in Kharagpur asked for leave to visit his sick mother. The authorities said there is a shortage of staff and denied him the leave.  Unable to bear this mental torture, the young ALP took the drastic step of committing suicide. Angered by this, his colleagues at Kharagpur stopped work and the trains were held up for 9 hours.

Loco_PilotTo punish the LPs and ALPs of Kharagpur, the authorities removed 5 LPs and ALPs from service using the draconian 14/II rule, without even a chargesheet or enquiry.

To protest this, the LPs and ALPs led by their Union, the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA), appealed to the CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal) for justice. The CAT asked the railway authorities to make an enquiry and file the chargesheet. However, after enquiry conducted by the railway authorities, they maintained that the removal from the service “stands good”, even though they could not prove any of the allegations of ‘vandalism’, etc. that were levelled against the LPs and ALPs.

The AILRSA again appealed to CAT and the CAT this time, seeing that there was no proof against the LPs and ALPs who had been removed from the service, ordered that they should be reinstated in service with ‘lesser punishment’!

The AILRSA went to the High Court, Kolkata, arguing that if there was no proof against the LPs and ALPs who had been removed from service, then how can they be given ‘lesser punishment’. They should be reinstated with full compensation.

Finally, the High Court of Kolkata, on 25th April 2024, on the appeal of AILRSA, stayed the order of CAT for reinstatement with lesser punishment and ordered their reinstatement.

This is a big victory for the 5 LPs and ALPs of Kharagpur, who had to struggle for six long years without a job, to fight against the blatant injustice meted out to them by the railway authorities. It is big victory for the AILRSA, the fighting organisation of LPs and ALPs of the Indian Railways, because the AILRSA supported the 5 LPs and ALPs financially for six years and bore all the legal expenses.

It once again shows how the railway authorities use the draconian 14/II rule against railway workers. This 14/II rule must be removed from the books, as it allows summary removal from service without even a charge sheet and enquiry. The AILRSA has long been demanding the removal of this draconian rule because the railway authorities use it to terrorise the Loco Pilots and Assistant Loco Pilots, to force them to continue to work in unsafe working conditions.

Hail the victory of  the struggle of the 5 LPs and ALPs of Kharagpur!
Victory to AILRSA! 
Remove the draconian 14/II rule!

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