Gauhati High Court Asks State's Agriculture Dept To Quell Doubts About Employment Status, Wages Of Muster Roll Workers

Udit Singh

2 May 2024 9:54 AM GMT

  • Gauhati High Court Asks States Agriculture Dept To Quell Doubts About Employment Status, Wages Of Muster Roll Workers

    The Gauhati High Court recently directed Assam's Agriculture Department to furnish records of three letters issued in the years 2017 and 2018 to quell doubts regarding the employment status of muster roll workers and wages due to them. The direction came in a writ petition filed by 43 petitioners making a claim of payment of their wages in lieu of services rendered as Muster Roll Workers in...

    The Gauhati High Court recently directed Assam's Agriculture Department to furnish records of three letters issued in the years 2017 and 2018 to quell doubts regarding the employment status of muster roll workers and wages due to them.

    The direction came in a writ petition filed by 43 petitioners making a claim of payment of their wages in lieu of services rendered as Muster Roll Workers in the Agriculture Department.

    It was submitted that the petitioners were inducted in the services during the period 1993-96 and were getting their regular salaries. However, in the year 2004 the Farms wherein the petitioners were working were leased out by the Government and thereafter the petitioners were engaged under different Block Agriculture Officers and District Agriculture Officers. The wages have however not been paid to the petitioners since 2004.

    The petitioners had approached the High Court earlier by filing writ petitions including wherein there were directions to examine the claims. It is submitted that though a finding was given that there were no authentic documents, there was also an admission that because of the flood, the documents could not be retrieved. Therefore, the claims were rejected vide an order dated August 16, 2018 which is the subject matter of challenge of the present petition.

    The petitioners relied upon two documents showing that there is an admission by the Director of Agriculture regarding their continuous service.

    The Standing Counsel appearing for the Agriculture Department submitted that the authenticity of the said documents have been doubted and the said stand has been categorically taken in the additional affidavit filed on August 11, 2023. It was further submitted that there has been fabrication of the documents.

    However, the Counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that such allegations are incorrect which is also substantiated by the statements made in the additional affidavit that further verification would be required.

    β€œTo quell any doubts, the learned Standing Counsel, Agriculture Department is directed to obtain the concerned records from the Office of the Agriculture Officer pertaining to issuance of the letter Nos. DBR/Agri/MR/2017-18/48 dated 09.01.2018 as well as DBR/Agri/MR/2017-18/49 dated 09.01.2018. Clarifications / instructions is also directed to be taken towards issuance of letter No. Agri/Esstt./8105/2014-15/231 dated 28.12.2017 said to be issued by the Director of Agriculture, Assam,” Justice Sanjay Kumar Medhi said.

    The Court also made clear that if the allegation of fabrication appears to be prima facie substantiated, it would pass appropriate directions including lodging of criminal proceeding.

    The matter is listed again on May 13.

    Case Title: Hemanta Gogoi & 42 Ors. v. The State of Assam & 3 Ors.

    Case No.: WP(C)/8268/2018

    Click Here To Read/Download Order


    Next Story