Chandra Sammanta & Ors Vs. Union of India
& Ors  INSC 284 (13 May 1993)
R.M. (J) Sahai, R.M. (J) Ahmadi, A.M. (J)
1993 AIR 2276 1993 SCR (3) 751 1993 SCC Supl. (4) 67 JT 1993 (3) 418 1993 SCALE
under a scheme framed under directions of the Court-Representations vague, and
petitioners claimed to he casual labourers of the South Eastern Railway
appointed between 1964-69 and retrenched between 1975-78.
prayed (1) for inclusion of their names in the live casual register and
reemployment according to their seniority, and (2) for restraining the filling
of vacancies from the open market.
relied on two circulars issued by the Railway Board laying down guidelines for
the recruitment, retrenchment and employment of casual labourers. They also
relied on two judgments of this court in 1985 and 1987 which directed the
preparation of a scheme and absorption of casual labourers in accordance with
was framed in 1987 for employing casual labourers retrenched before 1981
subject to demonstrating suitability before 31st March, 1987.
1990 the petitioners made their representation to be considered.
questions before this court were- (a) whether the petitioners were entitled as
a matter of law to reemployment and (b) if they had lost their right, if any,
due to delay.
Dismissing the petitions, this court,
Right of casual labourers employed in projects to be reemployed in railways has
been recognised both by the Railways and this Court. But the petitioners only
sent in a vague representation, and there was absence of positive material that
they were in fact appointed and working as claimed. (754-G)
writ is issued by this court in favour of a person who has some right and
not...for the sake of a roving enquiry leaving scope for manoeuver.
Delay itself deprives a person of big remedy available in law. In the absence
of any fresh cause of action of any legislation, a person who has lost his
remedy by lapse of time loses his right as well. (755-A) 4 In any event, more
than 15 years have expired, and a host of others who have in the meantime
become eligible and entitled to claim to be employed would he deprived if the
petitioners' claim were accepted. (755-B)
JURISDICTION: Writ Petition (Civil) No. 71 of 1992.
Petition (Civil) No. 323 of 1993.
Article 32 of the Constitution of India.
N.R. Choudhry and Somnath Mukherjee for the Petitioners in W.P.No. 71/93.
for the Petitioners in W.P. No. 323/93.
Sunita Rao for V.K. Verma for the Respondents.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by R.M.SAHAI,J.Casual labourers of South
Eastern Railway, alleged to have been appointed between 1964-69 and retrenched
between 1975-78 have approached this Court for a direction to opposite parties
to include their names in the 753 live casual labourer register after due
screening and give them reemployment according to their seniority. Further
prayer is to restrain the opposite parties from filling vacancies from open
of their claim is two fold, one-circulars issued by the Railway Board on 8th
June and 18th June,
1981 laying guideline
regarding recruitment, retrenchment and employment of the casual labourers,
second-Judgments delivered by this Court in 1985 and 1987 directing the
opposite parties to prepare a scheme and absorb the casual labourers in
accordance with their seniority.
of circulars by the Railway Board or decisions by this Court could not and has
not been disputed. Nor it is disputed that in pursuance of the orders passed by
this Court the opposite parties framed a scheme in 1987 for employing
retrenched casual labourers. On 2.3. 1987 a letter was issued from the Railway
Establishment addressed to the General Managers for employing casual labourer
retrenched before 1981 if they satisfied the requirements mentioned therein
which is extracted below:
to directions given by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in their order dated
23.2.1987, in W.P. No. 332 of 1986, the Ministry desire that the cases of
project casual labour who had worked as such before 1. 1.81 and who were
discharged due to completion of work or for want of further work, may also be
considered for the purpose of implementation of the scheme contained in the
Ministry's letter of even No. dated 1.6.84 and 25.6.84 as modified in the
letter dated 11.9.1986.
along with documentary proof reaching the office mentioned above after
31.3.1987 of those which are incomplete and also those not made with reference
to these instructions, will not be considered".
petitioners who claim to have been retrenched due to completion of Halda
project appear to have made a representation in 1990 to the authorities. The
representation runs as under "Respected sir, 1, on behalf of the Fetrenched
Labour Congress Union I.O.
Rly. Station. Dist. Midnaporoe, beg to humbly submit that the above quoted
Circulars are not obeyed by DEN (Con). TMZ- DIZHA. S.E. Rly. KGP and they do
not follow the orders of they Supreme Court, High Court of Calcutta and Central
Administrative Tribunal, Calcutta Bench.
result of their indifference, the project casual labour who are retrenched from
service on or before 1.1.1981 are in great difficulties and they are not
getting scope of absorption.
the applications deposited in the office of the DEN (CON) KGI in terms of Memo
No. PD/E/A/579/A/837 in reference to CE/ C/GRC dated 25.5.1987 are-to be approved.
such circumstances, I beg to request you to intervene in the matter as
expeditiously as humble.
to say, if your grievances are not sympathetically admitted and the retrenched labour
be not absorbed. We shall have no alternative way except launching vigorous
movement in the next stage.
faithfully, (BHUDEV JALUA)" The representation does not give any detail.
It is not mentioned if the scheme was given due publicity or not. No
explanation is given as to why the petitioners did not approach till 1990. Nor
it is stated if any of the casual labourer Not it is stated if any of the
casual labourer of the project were reemployed or not. It is vague and was
lacking in material particulars.
questions arise, one, if the petitioners are entitled as a matter of law for
reemployment and other if they have lost their right, if any, due to delay.
Right of casual labourer employed in projects, to be reemployed in railways has
been recognized both by the Railways and this Court. But unfortunately the
petitioners did not take any step to enforce their claim before the Railways
except sending a vague representation nor did they even care to produce any
material to satisfy this Court that they were covered in the scheme framed by
the Railways. It was urged by the learned counsel for petitioners that they may
be permitted to produce their identify cards etc., before opposite parties who
may accept or reject the same after 755 verification. We are afraid it would be
too dangerous to permit this exercise. A writ is issued by this Court in favour
of a person who has some right. And not for sake of roving enquiry leaving
scope for maneuvering. Delay itself deprives a person of his remedy available
is law. In absence of any fresh cause of action or any legislation a person who
has lost his remedy by lapse of time loses his right as well. From the date of
retrenchment if it is assumed to be correct a period of more than 15 years has
expired and in case we accept the prayer of petitioner we would be depriving a
host of others who in the meantime have become eligible and are entitled to
claim to be employed.
would have been persuaded to take a sympathetic view but in absence of any
positive material to establish that these Petitioners were in fact appointed and
working as alleged by them it would not be proper exercise of discretion to
direct opposite parties to verify the correctness of the statement made by the
petitioners that they were employed between 1964 to 1969 and retrenched between
1975 to 1979.
writ petitions accordingly fail and are dismissed. But there shall be no orders
as to costs.