Shri A.K. Verma has been employed as an executive engineer with India’s Central Public Works Department (CPWD) for multiple decades now. The only problem is, he hasn’t showed up to work in 24 years.
December 1990 was the last time Verma put in a day’s work for the CPWD, at which point he took an earned leave. After that, he just decided to not show up, yet he has been getting paid the whole time, until now. The CPWD finally fired Verma after exactly 24 years and 1 month of being on leave, citing “unauthorized absence from duty.”
According to Reuters, Verma originally sought extensions of his earned leave, but when they were not granted, he just didn’t come back to work. In 1992, an inquiry was launched against him, and in 2007, charges were brought against him by the then-minister of urban development. But because labor laws are so restrictive in India, it is rather difficult for a public official to be fired for anything other than criminal misconduct.
An Indian government worker skipped work for 24 years…then got fired: http://t.co/0jd2sP09Am pic.twitter.com/N1qrRqL2f6
— CNBCWorld (@CNBCWorld) January 9, 2015
Last year, India instilled a fingerprint scanning program to keep track of the work hours of public servants, and real-time results can be viewed online. It’s just one of many initiatives that India has taken to fix the poor image of its bureaucracy and to ensure that no other government employees go over two decades getting paid without showing up to work.