Regularization By Management Does Not Give Any Right To Retrenched Employee For Claiming Re-Employment: SC [Read Judgment]

Regularization By Management Does Not Give Any Right To Retrenched Employee For Claiming Re-Employment: SC [Read Judgment]

"The expression 'employment' signifies a fresh employment to fill the vacancies whereas the expression 'regularization of the service' signifies that the employee, who is already in service, his services are regularized as per service regulations."

Highlighting the difference between expressions 'employment' and 'regularization of the service', the Supreme CourtSupreme Court observed that regularization of an employee already in service does not give any right to retrenched employee to invoke Section 25 (H) of the Industrial Disputes Act for claiming reemployment in the services.

Pratap Singh, who was working with a Cooperative Marketing Society, was terminated by the management in the year 1985. He approached labour court and was awarded compensation, which was accepted by him later. Later in the year 1993, he again approached the labour court contending that the management regularized the services of two peons and thus he became entitled to claim reemployment in terms of Section 25 (H) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. Labour court dismissed his claim. The High Court, accepting Singh's plea, reversed the Labour court's findings and directed his reemployment on the post of Peon.

On the appeal filed by management, the apex court bench comprising of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra observed that Singh had accepted the compensation awarded to him in lieu of his right of reinstatement in service. It also observed that section 25(H) of the ID Act only applies to the cases where employer has proposed to take into their employment any persons to fill up the vacancies.

"It is at that time, the employer is required to give an opportunity to the "retrenched workman" and offer him re-employment and if such retrenched workman offers himself for reemployment, he shall have preference over other persons, who have applied for employment against the vacancy advertised.", the court said.

The bench further added that, to attract the provisions of Section 25(H) of the ID Act, it must be proved by the workman that he was the "retrenched employee" and that his ex-employer has decided to fill up the vacancies in their set up and, therefore, he is entitled to claim preference over those persons, who have applied against such vacancies for a job while seeking re-employment in the services.

"In our view, the regularization of an employee already in service does not give any right to retrenched employee so as to enable him to invoke Section 25 (H) of the ID Act for claiming reemployment in the services. The reason is that by such act the employer do not offer any fresh employment to any person to fill any vacancy in their set up but they simply regularize the services of an employee already in service. Such act does not amount to filling any vacancy.. In our view, there lies a distinction between the expression 'employment' and 'regularization of the service". The expression 'employment' signifies a fresh employment to fill the vacancies whereas the expression 'regularization of the service' signifies that the employee, who is already in service, his services are regularized as per service regulations. ", the bench said, setting aside the high court order.

Read the Judgment Here