5 May 2022 6:30 AM GMT
Affirming the view that regularly selected employees cannot be continued for long on contractual, adhoc or temporary basis and that they ought to be regularised, the Gujarat High Court recently came to the rescue of an Assistant Engineer who was appointed in the aftermath of 2001 Gujarat Earthquake.A Bench comprising Justice RM Chhaya and Justice Hemant Prachchhak upheld the order of a...
Affirming the view that regularly selected employees cannot be continued for long on contractual, adhoc or temporary basis and that they ought to be regularised, the Gujarat High Court recently came to the rescue of an Assistant Engineer who was appointed in the aftermath of 2001 Gujarat Earthquake.
A Bench comprising Justice RM Chhaya and Justice Hemant Prachchhak upheld the order of a single judge directing the Revenue Department and Urban Development & Urban Housing Department of the State Government to "positively consider" the request for regularisation.
"The learned Single Judge has observed that it is "expected" that the authorities will take positive decision, ensuring that there is no second round of litigation is objectionable. We do not find anything objectionable in the said observation," it said.
The Petitioner herein was employed as an Assistant Engineer at the Roads and Buildings Department in March 2001, initiallyfor a period of 9 months at a fixed pay of INR 5,000 per month. Such posts were filled up by the authorities to conduct various works in the talukas of Kachch District post the earthquake. The Petitioner contested that other employees who were similarly situated had been regularised. Reliance was placed on an earlier judgement of the Gujarat High Court wherein the Single Judge had observed:
"Even in Secretary, State of Karnataka & Ors. V. Umadevi & Ors (AIR 2006 SC1806), the Apex Court emphasised the need for regularisation of such employees and deprecated the practice of making appointments on permanent post on contractual or on adhoc basis for long time."
In the precedent, the employee had been working for sixteen years on a contractual basis and despite requesting for regularisation, the employee was not regularised. The High Court therein had also noted that even though the work initially was of a temporary nature and the appointment was on a contractual basis, there was work available because of which the employee had continued all the years in service.
In the instant case, the Petitioner was appointed on ad hoc basis as far back as in 2001.
The Single Judge in the impugned order had observed that no strong reason was justified by the authorities for not regularising the service of the Petitioner even as non-regularisation was in violation of many precedents laid down by the High Court and the Supreme Court. It said,
"The petitioner also has been appointed in the year 2001 after following the procedure and by duly constituted Selection Committee. Furthermore, the said order was approved by the State Government vide Government Resolution dated 8.3.2001and it is only thereafter that the appointment was effected. The continuation of the petitioner from the year 2001, till date, also buttress the fact that the service of the petitioner is still required by the authorities concerned."
Finding itself in agreement, the division bench dismissed the appeal preferred by the State authorities. The Bench, however, extended time till 31st July 2022 for carrying out the directions.
Case Title: STATE OF GUJARAT Versus ARJANBHAI TITABHAI BARAIYA
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 147
Case No.: C/LPA/592/2022
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