No right for need based employees to seek regularization: HC

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, July 20 : The High Court has refused the plea of casual labourers of Municipal Committee seeking their regularization under Government policy vide Circular passed in the year 2017 by recording that such policy cannot be applied to statutory organizations like the Committee in which the petitioners are working.
These casuals were appointed in the Municipal Committee Qazigund Anantnag by the then Administrator and Executive Officer of the Committee from time to time about 10 years ago. They approached the court with a plea contending therein that they are entitled to regularization of their services on the ground that the Government has framed a policy for regularization of casual labourers in terms of Circular No.03-F of 2017 dated 30th June, 2017.
Justice Sanjay Dhar after hearing the Dy AG Syed Musaib representing Government said the contention of the counsel appearing for these labourers is without any substance. Court said virtue of the Circular, the Government has only decided to compile data regarding casual workers engaged in various departments but the same does not lay down any policy for regularization of casual labourers.
“Even if it is assumed that the Government has framed any policy for regularization of casual labourers, such a policy cannot ipso facto apply to a statutory organization like respondent Committee unless it is adopted by the respondent Municipal Committee in accordance with law. The contention of the petitioners in this regard is, therefore, without any merit”, Justice Dhar has held.
These labourers were engaged as casual labourers vide different orders passed by the higher ups of Committee from time to time and their wages are withheld from December 2014 onwards
According to them, the Government of J&K has issued a Circular bearing No.03-F of 2017 dated 30.06.2017, whereby all the Secretaries of the Government Departments have been directed to ensure registration of casual workers and daily wagers by 15th July, 2017 and to furnish information to the Finance Department by 31st July, 2017.
It has been submitted that the Government has decided to frame a policy for regularization of casual labourers and other workers in various departments. According to the petitioners, they have requested the official respondents to frame a policy for regularization of their services on the analogy of Circular issued by the Government but they have not paid any heed to their requests.
Justice Dhar has noticed that the engagement of the petitioner- casual labourers has been made by the Administrator and Executive Officer and as the rules the competent authority for making appointments to the posts other than the posts of Class-I and Class-II is the Head of the Department.
Court said the engagement of these workers has been made by incompetent authority, that too without inviting applications and without following any transparent procedure. “When the engagement of the petitioners as casual labourers has been made dehors the rules, such an engagement cannot be continued as the same would amount to perpetuating illegality that would lead to violation of right to equality guaranteed under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India”, read the judgment.
Court said the officials cannot be compelled to continue with the services of the petitioners even when they do not need their services. Court said, a need based worker has no legally enforceable right to continue in the service once the employer decides that his services are not needed.
“No enforceable legal right has accrued in favour of the petitioners to continue as casual labourers with the respondent Committee, in view of the conditions attached to their engagement. In these circumstances, disengagement of the petitioners by the respondent Committee appears to be in accordance with law”, the Court said.