H.S. Rajashekara Vs. State
Bank of Mysore & ANR.
J U D G M E N T
JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR,
petitioner herein was inducted into the service of the State Bank of Mysore
(hereinafter referred to as, the Bank) as a temporary Sub-Staff in 1985. He was
intermittently taken into employment based on the need for such staff. During
the year 1994-95, he claims to have rendered more than 240 days of service in a
calendar year. Based thereon, he claimed that he be included in the "protected
category" of employees.
Having satisfied the "protected
category" criteria, the petitioner applied for absorption as a permanent employee,
by citing the example of one Devaraju, by addressing representations to the Bank.
It is also the contention of the petitioner, that the employees union of the Bank
also addressed a communication dated 13.12.1997 to the management of the Bank
requiring it to absorb the petitioner as a permanent employee.
representations made by the petitioner, and recommendation made by the
employees union of the Bank, did not result in any consideration at the hands
of the Bank, the petitioner approached the High Court of Karnataka (hereinafter
referred to as, the High Court) by filing a Writ Petition being W.P. No. 45932
of 1999. The aforesaid Writ Petition came to be disposed of by a learned Single
Judge of the High Court on 14.12.2004.
In this behalf, it
would be relevant to mention, that the High Court did not examine the merits of
the controversy raised by the petitioner. Rather than doing that, the High Court
directed the Bank to take a decision on the representation made by the petitioner
by passing a written order. The Bank was also directed to communicate the same
to the petitioner.
bank, while examining the claim raised by the petitioner, noticed the contention
of the petitioner as under:-
"(i) He has worked
in several branches in Mysore during the period 1985 to 1997.
(ii) During 8.7.1994
to 30.8.1995, he has served for 292 days.
(iii) State Bank of
Mysore Employees Union has recommended him to be employed on permanent basis. He
has given applications in this regard.
(iv) He has passed
(v) One of his
colleagues, one Shri Devaraju has also passed SSLC and he has been given employment
on permanent basis.
Therefore, he has prayed
for passing of suitable 3 order of appointment in his favour equivalent to the job
given to one Shri Devaraju."Despite the aforesaid pleas raised at the
hands of the petitioner, the Bank by an order dated 24.8.2005, rejected the
petitioner's claim for absorption as a permanent employee. Two reasons were
indicated in the order dated 24.8.2005 for not accepting the petitioner's claim.
It was found, that
the petitioner had not worked for 240 days in a calendar year, and that, he had
qualified the SSLC examination. The petitioner approached the High Court yet again,
to impugn the order dated 24.8.2005. At this juncture, the petitioner preferred
Writ Petition No. 22324 of 2005. Having dealt with the controversy raised by the
petitioner, the High Court by its order dated 13.11.2007, held that the petitioner
was not entitled to absorption as a permanent employee.
The learned Single Judge,
while dismissing Writ Petition No. 22324 of 2005 acknowledged, that the
petitioner had worked for 292 days from 8.7.1994 to 30.8.1995. Despite the
aforesaid, the High Court was of the view, that the petitioner could not be given
the benefit claimed by him. This conclusion was drawn because the service for
240 days in a "calendar year", was to be determined with reference to
service rendered between the 1st day of January of a particular year, upto 31st
day of December of the same year.
Examined on the basis
of the aforesaid parameters, it was concluded, that the petitioner had not
render service for a period of 240 days in a "calendar year". It was also
sought to be concluded, that the petitioner had not worked in one branch of the
bank during the period from 8.7.1994 to 30.8.1995.
It was sought to be concluded,
that while computing 240 days in a "calendar year" only service rendered
in one branch of the Bank could have been taken into consideration. It was accordingly
held, that service rendered in different branches could not be added together
to calculate the period of 240 days (in a "calendar year"). As such,
the claim raised by the petitioner did not find favour with the High Court in
its order dated 13.11.2007.
petitioner assailed the order dated 13.11.2007, passed by the learned Single Judge
of the High Court (while disposing of Writ Petition No. 22324 of 2005), by preferring
Writ Appeal No. 24 of 2008. The Division Bench of the High Court dismissed the
aforesaid Writ Appeal on 4.11.2008. While adjudicating upon the controversy, the
Division Bench referred to the judgment rendered by this Court in Secretary, State
of Karnataka & Ors. Vs. Uma Devi & Ors. [(2006) 4 SCC 1], so as to conclude,
that the petitioner was not entitled to regularization in terms of the
parameters laid down by this Court.
have given our thoughtful consideration to the claim raised by the petitioner. The
petitioner had approached the High Court, in the first instance, by filing Writ
Petition No. 45932 of 1999. The issue raised by him as far back in the year
1999 remains unsettled till today.
The claim of the petitioner
as has been projected in the order passed by the respondents on 24.8.2005 was clear
and unambiguous, namely, that he should be given the same benefit as was given
to Shri Devaraju who had qualified the SSLC examination just like the
petitioner, and despite thereof, he was absorbed as a permanent employee.
The claim raised by the
petitioner was primarily raised under articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of
India. The petitioner prayed for parity with the aforesaid Shri Devaraju. This claim
of the petitioner was correctly appreciated, inasmuch as, the same was clearly noticed
in the impugned order dated 24.8.2005.
though the High Court by its order dated 14.12.2004 (while disposing of Writ
Petition No. 45932 of 1999) had directed the Bank to decide the representation made
by the petitioner, yet the claim of the petitioner based on a similar benefit
having been granted to Shri Devaraju, was never adjudicated upon.
The same claim was
raised by the petitioner before the High Court in Writ Petition No. 22324 of 2005,
(wherein the petitioner assailed the order passed by the Bank on 24.8.2005). Yet
again, the contention remained unanswered. Thereafter, the learned Division Bench
(in Writ Appeal No.24 of 2008) again rejected the claim of the petitioner without
reference to his principal prayer, viz., parity with Shri Devaraju.
The appeal preferred by
the petitioner, assailing the order passed by the learned Single Judge in Writ Petition
No. 22324 of 2005, was adjudicated upon with reference to the decision rendered
by this Court 6in Secretary, State of Karnataka & Ors. Vs. Uma Devi &
Ors. [supra] even though the same had no relevance to the prayer made by the
petitioner. The simple question raised by the petitioner was, with reference to
the decision of the Bank in absorbing Shri Devaraju, as a permanent employee.
The claim of the
petitioner was founded under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India. Unfortunately,
the aforesaid issue was not considered even in the second round of litigation. The
matter has now been placed for our consideration, at the hands of the
petitioner, through the instance Petition for Special Leave to Appeal.
have given our thoughtful consideration to the claim raised by the petitioner. The
learned Single Judge while deciding Writ Petition No. 22324 of 2005
acknowledged, that the petitioner had worked for 292 days from 8.7.1994 to
That, coupled with
the fact, that Shri Devaraju was absorbed as a permanent employee even though
he had qualified the SSLC examination, in our view, should have been sufficient
to examine the claim raised by the petitioner without reference to the disqualification
of having qualified the SSLC examination.
In Radha Raman
Samanta Vs. Bank of India, (2004) 1 SCC 605, this Court relied upon the following
observations recorded in Budge Budge Jute Mills Co. Ltd. v. Workmen, (1970) 1
LLJ 222 (SC), to record its observations : from para 17 ".....Thus a badli
workman only means a person who is employed as a casual workman who is working in
place of another.
By virtue of the bipartite
agreement published in Circular No. XVIII/90/20 dated 7-9-1990 of the
federation of the Bank, such a badli worker is entitled to be absorbed if he
completes 240 days of badli service in a block of twelve months or a calendar year
Based on the
conclusion arrived at by the learned Single Judge after considering the relevant
documents, the fact of the appellant's service for the required period cannot be
disputed. Nomenclature of his work profile may change, but it is clear that he rendered
services in a vacancy of a temporary post for more than 240 days. This is
sufficient to treat him as a badli for the purpose of absorption....."
It is therefore clear,
that for labour related matters the terms "calendar year" and "block
of twelve months" are interchangeable. It would be sufficient, if the
petitioner could establish, that he had rendered more than 240 days service in
a "block of twelve months".
This in our view
should have been the determinating factor in a case where the consideration pertained
to the consideration of an employee's claim for inclusion in the "protected
category" merely on account of having rendered 240 days service in a
In view of the above,
we are satisfied, that the petitioner fulfilled the condition of having
rendered service for 240 days in a "calendar year". The pleadings in
the instant Petition for Special Leave to Appeal, as also, the judgments and orders
appended thereto do not disclose any condition to the effect, that service
rendered while computing 240 days in a "calendar year", should have been
rendered in the same branch of the Bank.
Keeping these factual
ingredients in mind, and the fact that the petitioner has been suffering
litigation since the year 1999, we feel that it would not be appropriate to require
the re-adjudication of the 8entire controversy all over again. In the peculiar
facts and circumstances noticed hereinabove, we direct the respondent Bank to absorb
the petitioner as a permanent employee in the Sub-Staff cadre on the basis of having
rendered service for more than 240 days during 1994-95.
The petitioner would
not be entitled to any further remuneration for the period hitherto before, other
than difference in emoluments, for the service already rendered by him. This decision
shall not be treated as a precedent, as the same has been rendered keeping in
mind the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case.
of in the aforesaid terms.
(Asok Kumar Ganguly)
(Jagdish Singh Khehar)