Union of India & Ors Vs. Sheela Rani
 Insc 930 (8
Ar. Lakshmanan & Tarun Chatterjee
out of S.L.P. (c) Nos. 23404-23407 of 2005) Dr. AR. Lakshmanan
above appeal is directed against the final order and judgment dated 28.1.2005
passed by the Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi in Writ Petition (c)
Nos. 1479-1482 of 2005. By the impugned judgment, the High Court dismissed the
writ petitions preferred by the appellants herein.
question of law involved in this appeal is whether the services of a casual
worker can be regularized with retrospective effect i.e. from the date of
respondent herein was engaged as a casual worker w.e.f. 17.11.1982 and since
then besides other jobs of casual nature, she has been performing the job of
noting down complaints at the enquiry offices/service stations of C.P.W.D.
respondent approached the Tribunal under Section 19 of the Administrative
Tribunals Act, 1985 and prayed that she should be regularized on the post of
enquiry clerk in C.P.W.D.
the Tribunal, the appellants submitted that no post of enquiry clerk was
existing nor was there any scheme/rule for regularization in a Group-C post
inasmuch as the clerks under the appellants are appointed in terms of the
recruitment rules and through the Staff Selection Commission. It was also
submitted that the engagement of the respondent was not against any vacancy
hence she can not claim regularization on a particular post. The Tribunal vide
its order dated 13.10.2000, allowed O.A.No. 2747/99 with a direction to the
appellants herein to consider the regularization of the respondent within four
months of the receipt of the judgment.
respondent herein filed Contempt Petition No. 194 of 2001 in the aforesaid O.A.
and alleged non-compliance of the Tribunal's order and judgment as the services
of the respondent were not regularized with retrospective effect i.e.
17.11.1982 being the date of her initial engagement as casual worker. The services
of the respondent was regularized as Mate w.e.f. 26.9.2001. The Tribunal vide
its order dated 11.1.2002 discharged the notice and dropped the aforesaid
Contempt Petition but gave a direction to the appellants herein to consider
respondent's case for grant of regularization w.e.f. the date of her initial
engagement i.e. 17.11.1982. Liberty was
also given to the respondent for revival of the aforesaid C.P. No. 194 of 2001
in case the direction given by the Tribunal is not implemented within a period
of eight weeks. In view of the aforesaid direction given to the appellants by
the Tribunal, the claim of the respondent was considered and vide Office
Memorandum dated 14.1.2003, the said claim for grant of regularization with
retrospective effect i.e. from the date of initial appointment being 17.11.1982
was rejected. Aggrieved by the said order, the respondent filed O.A.No. 1926 of
2003 under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act before the Tribunal. The
Tribunal allowed O.A. vide order dated 25.2.2004. Against the said order, the
appellants preferred C.W.P. Nos. 1479-1482 of 2005 before the High Court. The
High Court dismissed the aforesaid writ petitions. Against the said order of
the High Court, the appellants filed the above appeal by way of special leave
petitions before this Court.
heard Mr. R. Mohan, learned Additional Solicitor General appearing for the
appellants and Mr. S.M. Ratanpaul, learned counsel appearing for the
respondent. We have carefully perused the judgment passed by the High Court.
Mohan, learned ASG, submitted that the High Court failed to appreciate that
regularization of a casual worker cannot be made with retrospective effect i.e.
with effect from the date of initial appointment and that regularization of a
casual worker can only be done in accordance with the relevant scheme and rules
and from the date when regular vacancy/post is available for such
regularization. In support of his contention, he relied on the judgments of
this Court in State of Haryana vs. Jasmer Singh (1996) 11 SCC 83
and Ors. (1998) 8 SCC 690.
contra, Mr. S.M. Ratanpaul, learned counsel appearing for the respondent,
submitted that the appellants have regularized the services of the respondent
as Mate w.e.f. 26.9.2001 depriving her of 19 years of continuous service since
17.11.1982. It was further submitted that the contempt petition was finally
heard and the appellants herein were directed to regularize the respondent
herein from the date of her initial appointment i.e. 17.11.1982. In view of a
similar Ernakulam Bench of the Tribunal and since the request for
regularization was not complied with within the time stipulated in the contempt
petition, the respondent herein filed revival of the petition which was allowed
and the appellants herein issued revised orders again rejecting the prayer of
the respondent herein for regularization from the date of her initial
appointment. The Tribunal heard the revived contempt petition and decided that
as the respondents/appellants herein have issued revised order dated 14.1.2003,
there has not been any willful or contumacious disobedience of the Tribunal's
order warranting any further action to be taken against the alleged contemnors
under the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 read with Section 17
of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985. The contempt petition was dismissed
and the notice to contemnors was discharged.
the Tribunal granted liberty to the respondent herein as advised in accordance
with law. Therefore, the respondent filed O.A. challenging Office Memorandum
dated 14.1.2003 issued by the appellants herein rejecting the respondent's
prayer for regularization from the initial date of her appointment i.e.
17.11.1982. Learned counsel further submitted that any casual employee who has
been appointed after satisfying the requirements through proper channel, is
eligible for consideration of regularization of the service if he is able to
establish that he was continuously working and there was existing vacancy at
the relevant time. The Tribunal, therefore, considered the case of the
respondent and the long continuous service rendered by her and held that the
respondent is entitled to regularization from the date of her initial
affidavit was filed in the above appeal reiterating the contentions raised
before the Tribunal. It is not in dispute that the respondent was engaged as a
casual worker and that is admitted by the respondent and the nature of the job
assigned to her was to note down the complaints in the enquiry office. She was
performing the duties at the enquiry office on muster roll as a casual worker
to note down day to day complaints. The respondent has also not placed any
documentary evidence in respect of her claim nor any such evidence is available
on record. The date of registration of the respondent with the employment
exchange is 25.3.1983 whereas the respondent is claiming that her name was
referred to the appellants-department by the employment exchange. Therefore,
the contention raised by the respondent is not correct and misleading. The
respondent was engaged as casual worker on 17.11.1982, therefore, employment
exchange could not have referred as she was registered in employment exchange
only on 25.8.1983. The respondent's claim, in our opinion, to regularize her
services from 17.11.1982 is not correct. She was regularized w.e.f. 26.9.2001
as the regularization of casual worker is covered under the relevant Rules. In
the rejoinder affidavit, the appellants have stated the following latest
position of the workers, some of them have not been regularized so far and
those regularized have not been regularized from the date of engagement:
Designation Date of Engagement Date of regulation Kashi Nath Sr. Mech. 07.02.82
Not regularized so far but temporary status given Kirti Ram Sr.Mech 01.12.81
Not regularized so far but temporary status given Bahunt Lal Mech. 02.08.83 Not
regularized so far but temporary status given Joginder Singh Lab. Asst.
Not regularized so far Baleshwar Pandit Pump Operator 01.01.82 Regularised w.e.f.
12.12.94 Joginder Thakur Pump Operator 01.01.82 Regularised w.e.f. 12.12.94 Mahabir
Singh Welder 02.06.82 Regularised w.e.f. 11.12.96 Iqbal Singh Auto Elect.
Regularised w.e.f. 19.4.96 Rakesh Kumar Wireman 28.01.81 Not regularized so far
Perusal of the above list shows that these casual workers are technical people
and they have been engaged prior to the respondent. In our opinion, the
respondent's claim to be regularized from 17.11.1982 is not acceptable as she was
engaged only as casual worker.
law is well settled on this issue. In State of Haryana vs. Jasmer Singh,(supra), a three-Judge Bench of this Court
held that the regularization of daily rated workmen who had completed a certain
number of years of service is a policy matter to be decided by the State. This
Court held that the respondents who are employed on daily wages can not be
treated on par with persons in regular service of the State holding similar
post. Daily rated workers are not required to possess the qualifications
prescribed for the regular work nor do they have to fulfill the requirement
relating to age at the time of recruitment. They cannot, therefore, be equated
with the regular workmen for the purposes of their wages nor can they claim the
minimum wage regular pay scale of the regularly employed.
& Ors. (supra), the Tribunal's direction was to regularize the respondents w.e.f.
the date of promulgation of the recruitment rules or from the date of their
appointment depending on the seniority list. In pursuance of the said
direction, on the new recruitment rules being promulgated on 11.5.1985, the
regularization was given effect from that date.
in the subsequent order passed by the Tribunal on 19.2.1993, the Tribunal has
directed that they should be treated as having been conferred regular status w.e.f.
5.2.1981 i.e. the date of their entry into service as Investigators. This Court
held that the employees had entered as ad hoc appointees and the question was
whether they should be regularized in service since they had worked as ad hoc
employees for a sufficient long time. If the ad hoc service is regularized from
the back date in this manner, it will disturb the seniority of regularly
appointed employees in the cadre and, therefore, ordinarily the regularization
must take effect prospectively and not retrospectively. This Court ordered that
care must be taken to see that regularization do not upset the seniorities of
regular appointees. Whether they qualify in a given case or not is not relevant
but what is relevant is that regularization should be prospective and not
retrospective as the chances of their upsetting the seniorities cannot be
therefore, allow the appeal and set aside the judgment and order passed by the
High Court and restore the order of regularization passed by the Tribunal.
However, there shall be no order as to costs.