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Workman Employed For A Particular Project Can't Claim Permanent Status After Project Ends : Allahabad High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
15 Nov 2021 1:35 PM GMT
Workman Employed For A Particular Project Cant Claim Permanent Status After Project Ends : Allahabad High Court
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The Allahabad High Court recently observed that when a workman is employed for a particular project, the services of that employee come to an end when the project is over and, therefore, such a workman could not be given permanent status.This assertion came from the Bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma while relying upon the ruling of the Apex Court in the case of Lal Mohammad and Ors....

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The Allahabad High Court recently observed that when a workman is employed for a particular project, the services of that employee come to an end when the project is over and, therefore, such a workman could not be given permanent status.

This assertion came from the Bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma while relying upon the ruling of the Apex Court in the case of Lal Mohammad and Ors. vs. Indian Railway Construction Co. Ltd. and Ors. AIR 2007 SC 2230, wherein it was held that such a workman could not be considered an employee of the company under which various other projects ran.

The case in brief 

The petitioner was employed by the Indian Railway Construction International Ltd. (IRCON) initially as a peon on a casual basis for a period of six months in Madhya Pradesh (in 1984), thereafter, he was re-employed on monthly basis with a consolidated wage of Rs. 196/- plus dearness allowance.

Further, he was attached with Anpara Project, District – Mirzapur, U.P. On the completion of it, he was employed on the scale of pay which was in the grade pay of Rs. 196-237/-. This was done by an order dated 29.05.1998

In this arrangement, the petitioner continued for a period of four years and was thereafter brought in the regular scale. Thereafter the petitioner was transferred from Vindhya Nagar Project to Rihand Nagar Project, District - Sonbhadra U.P. in 1993.

However, in 1998 a notice was served upon the petitioner that with effect from February 1998 his services were dispensed with it. Thereafter, he raised an industrial dispute and prayed for his reinstatement with back wages.

The conciliation proceedings failed and the matter was referred by the Government of India to the Central Government Tribunal- cum – Labour Court, Lucknow, which passed the award on November 23, 2020, and therefore, the instant writ petition was filed.

Submissions put forth

He argued before the Court that he was given the status of a regular employee because he had been given a scale of the regular employee with effect from April 1984, and further in May 1986 and April 1989, he was further granted certain status, and therefore, his services could not be dispensed with.

On the other hand, the Counsel for the respondents, Advocate Taniya Pandey submitted that the very fact that the petitioner had got a regular scale did not mean that the petitioner had been regularized. She further submitted that the petitioner was an employee of the Project and not of the Company.

Court's observations

At the outset, the Court referred to Apex Court's ruling in the case of Lal Mohammad and Ors. vs. Indian Railway Construction Co. Ltd. and Ors. AIR 2007 SC 2230, wherein the Court had categorically laid down that when a workman is employed for a particular project, the services of that employee came to an end when the project was over and, therefore, he/she could not be given permanent status.

It may be noted that in Lal Mohammad Case (supra), certain employees of IRCON, who had been found to be surplus and their services were dispensed with, had moved the Allahabad High Court, however, the issues were thereafter decided in favour of the respondent-company (IRCON) and against the petitioners.

Challenging the same, the Employees/petitioners had moved to the Supreme Court, wherein the Supreme Court had found that the judgement of the Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court was correct.

The Apex Court had also found that the petitioners were not entitled to be regularized in the services of the Company as they were not employees of the company. It, however, held that the petitioners were entitled to compensation and thereafter the appeals were dismissed.

Against this backdrop, finding that there was similarity in the case of the petitioner with that of Lal Mohammad Case, the Court dismissed the writ petition noting that no interference was warranted in the writ petition.

Case title - Bipin v. Union Of India And 3 Others

Counsel for Petitioner :- Raghawendra Kumar Singh

Counsel for Respondent :- A.S.G.I.,Annapurna Singh,Taniya Pandey

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