High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
Case Law Search
DHARAMPAL & Ors v. STATE OF HARYANA AND Ors. - CWP-19413-2005  RD-P&H 831 (16 February 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
C.W.P. NO.19413 OF 2005
DATE OF DECISION: JANUARY 30,2006
DHARAMPAL AND OTHERS V. STATE OF HARYANA AND OTHERS
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VINEY MITTAL
HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE S.N.AGGARWAL
PRESENT: MR. MADAN LAL,ADVOCATE FOR THE PETITIONERS.
MR.SURESH MONGA, SENIOR DEPUTY ADVOCATE
The present petition has been filed by Dharam Pal, Mohan Lal, Raghubir Singh, and Gulab Singh under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution of India. A prayer has been made in the petition for issuance of a writ of certiorari for quashing termination order dated December 9,2005. Additionally, the petitioners have also prayed for quashing of the orders dated December 5,2005 whereby the Divisional Soil Conservation Officer has rejected the claim of the petitioners for regularisation of their services.
Certain facts be noticed:
Petitioner No.1 Dharam Pal joined the Department of Agriculture as a Mali with effect from July, 1995 as a daily wager. He continued to work on the aforesaid post upto 1999 when his services were terminated. Similarly, petitioner No.2, Mohan Lal, joined the Department as a Mali with effect from April,1994 as a daily wager and continued to work C.W.P. No.19413 of 2005 2
on the aforesaid post till March,1999 when his services were terminated.
Petitioner No.3, Raghubir Singh, also joined as a Mali with effect from January,1997 as a daily wager and he worked upto February 2,2000 when his services were terminated. Identically, petitioner No.4, Gulab Singh, also joined the Department as a Mali with effect from July 7,1995 as a daily wager and worked upto February 2,2000 when his services were terminated.
On the respective termination of the aforesaid workmen, they raised independent and separate industrial disputes. The matter was referred by the appropriate Government for adjudication to the Labour Court. Four separate awards were passed by the Labour Court with regard to each of the workmen. In the case of petitioner No.1, Dharam Pal, an award dated October 3,2003 was passed. It was held by the Labour Court that Dharam Pal had worked continuously with effect from July,1995 till the date of his termination and that his termination was illegal and contrary to the provisions of Industrial Disputes Act,1947 ( hereinafter referred to as the "Act"). In these circumstances, vide award dated October 3,2003, Annexure P1, the termination of the aforesaid workmen Dharam Pal was set aside and he was held entitled to reinstatement with continuity of service. A similar award dated November 7,2003 ( Annexure P/2) was passed in the case of petitioner No.2, Mohan Lal. The Labour Court held that he had continuously worked with effect from April,1994 till the date of his termination and that his termination was also illegal and violative of provisions of the Act. The aforesaid workman was also held entitled to reinstatement with continuity of service. In the case of petitioner No.3, Raghubir Singh and petitioner No.4, Gulab Singh, two separate awards dated April 27,2004 were passed by the Labour Court. The aforesaid awards C.W.P. No.19413 of 2005 3
are appended as Annexures P/3 and P/4 with the present petition. In the award Annexure P/3, the Labour Court held that Raghubir Singh had worked continuously with effect from January,1997, till the date of his illegal termination and,therefore, he was held entitled to reinstatement with continuity of service. In the award Annexure P/4, petitioner, Gulab Singh, was held continuously working with effect from July 7,1995, till the date of his termination which was also held to be violative of the provisions of the Act. He was also held entitled to reinstatement with continuity of service.
However, all the petitioners were held not entitled to any back wages.
In accordance with the aforesaid awards in favour of the aforesaid four petitioners, petitioners were reinstated in service. The respondent-management challenged the aforesaid awards through the four writ petitions filed before this court. All the aforesaid four writ petitions were dismissed. The respondents even approached Hon'ble Supreme Court of India through Special Leave Petitions. The aforesaid Special Leave Petitions were also dismissed.
In this manner, after the earlier awards having attained finality, the petitioners got issued legal notices for consideration of their claim for regularisation of their services in terms of policy dated October 1,2003. A copy of the aforesaid policy has been appended as Annexure P/7 with the present petition. No action was taken by the respondents on the aforesaid legal notices. The petitioners thereafter approached this court through Civil Writ Petition No.12671 of 2005. A Division Bench of this court vide order dated August 18,2005 directed the respondents to consider the claim of the petitioners for regularisation within a period of four months from the date of the receipt of the certified copy of the order and pass a speaking order.
C.W.P. No.19413 of 2005 4
In pursuance to the directions issued by this court vide order dated August 18,2005, orders dated December 5,2002 have been passed by the respondents. The claim of the petitioners for regularisation has been rejected. The aforesaid orders in cases of petitioners No.1,3 and 4 have been appended as Annexures P/12 to Annexure P/14 with the present petition. A similar order in the case of petitioner No.2 is stated to have been passed.
After rejection of the claim of the petitioners for regularisation, an order dated December 9,2005 has been passed whereby the services of the petitioners have been terminated. A copy of the aforesaid order has been appended as Annexure P/15 with the present petition. For the sake of ready reference the contents of the order Annexure P/15 are reproduced as under : "You were assigned the work on daily wages under Nursery Component NWDPRA Scheme vide order dated 24.06.2005. It was specifically mentioned in condition No.3 that you would be given the work as per availability of the work.
Since there is no more work which were doing under the scheme and as such your services are no more required from 12.12.2005. It is ordered that you would not come for work from 12.12.2005. When the work would be available unde the scheme, you would be called for work on priority basis.
You can receive the wages from ASCO,
Panchkula immediately if not received by you so far, upto the period you have worked i.e. 30.11.2005. Yours wages from C.W.P. No.19413 of 2005 5
01.12.2005 to 11/12/2005 ( for the days you work) would be paid later on i.e. on or before 31.12.2005." As noticed above, the petitioners have challenged the order Annexure P/15 by way of the present petition. The petitioners have also additionally challenged the rejection of their claim for regularisation.
Upon a notice issued to the respondents, written statement has been filed on behalf of respondents No.1 to 4. The claim of the petitioners has been contested. In the written statement, the stand taken by the respondents is identical to the one taken in the order Annexure P/15. It has been alleged by the respondents that in the Agriculture Department some projects were sanctioned for a particular period and the petitioners had been appointed as casual labourers on daily wages and after the completion of the project, the petitioners were no more required. It has also been maintained by the respondents that the petitioners were not entitled to regularisation of their services in terms of the policy dated October 1,2003.
We have heard the learned counsel for the parties at some length and have also gone through the record of the case.
The facts which emerge from the pleadings of the parties show that petitioner No.1 has been working since July,1995, petitioner No.2 with effect from April,1994, petitioner No.3 with effect from January 1,1997 and petitioner No.4 has been working with effect from July 7,1995. On an earlier occasion, their services were terminated by the Department. A plea was taken that their services were no more required as they were working on some project. On industrial disputes having been raised by the petitioners, the matter was duly adjudicated upon by the Labour Court through four separate awards Annexure P/1 to P/4. As has already been noticed above, C.W.P. No.19413 of 2005 6
the Labour Court not only set aside the termination of the petitioners being illegal and violative of provisions of the Act, another positive finding was recorded in favour of each of the petitioners with regard to their date of initially joining the Department. The respondents challenged the aforesaid awards before this court but failed. Special Leave Petitions filed by the Department were also dismissed by the Apex Court. In these circumstances, the findings recorded by the Labour Court attained finality. Thereafter, the petitioners were reinstated in service with continuity thereof. Therefore, the petitioners shall be deemed to have been in continuous service of the department from the date of their initial appointments.
It is also clear that the Special Leave Petitions filed by the respondents were dismissed by Hon'ble Supreme Court of India on April 11,2005. Even a review petition filed by them was dismissed by the Apex Court on September 15,2005. The respondents, in fact, after the matter had attained finality upto the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India should have felt contented and accepted the decision against them with some grace. They have not done so. After rejecting the claim of the petitioners for regularisation on December 5,2005, they have passed fresh order of termination on December 9,2005, once again terminating the services of all the petitioners. While passing the aforesaid order of termination, the respondents have persisted with their stand that the petitioners were working only under a scheme and on some projects. Once again the respondents never even cared to comply with the provisions of the Act. This conduct of the respondents cannot be accepted by the court and has to be treated as almost a defiance of the earlier judgments which had gone against them. The order Annexure P/15 is liable to be set aside on this short ground alone.
C.W.P. No.19413 of 2005 7
Even otherwise we find that the petitioners had remained in continuous employment of the respondents for a period of almost a decade and have attained eligibility for regularisation of their services in terms of the policy dated October 1,2003. As a matter of fact, petitioners got served legal notices upon the respondents for regularisation of their services. This court on an earlier occasion directed the respondents to consider the claim of the petitioners for regularisation in terms of the policy dated October 1,2003.Although the respondents, in compliance with the directions of this court, did consider the claim of the petitioners for regularisation but the aforesaid claim was rejected vide separate orders dated December 5,2005.While passing the aforesaid orders, the respondents again took up a similar plea that the petitioners were working on a scheme under some project. A similar plea raised by the respondents, before the Labour court was rejected by the Labour Court while passing the awards in favour of the workmen and ordering their reinstatement with continuity of service. It is not understandable as to how the claim of the petitioners is not covered under the policy for regularisation dated October 1,2003.Thus we have no hesitation in quashing orders Annexures P/12 to P/14 and the similar order passed in the case of petitioner No.2, Mohan Lal ,rejecting their claim for regularisation.
As a result of the aforesaid discussion, the present petition is allowed. Orders Annexure P/15 terminating the services of the petitioners is quashed. Additionally the rejection of the claim of the petitioners vide orders dated December 5,2005 is also quashed. The petitioners are held entitled to regularisation of their services with effect form September 30,2003 in terms of the policy dated October 1,2003. The petitioners shall C.W.P. No.19413 of 2005 8
also be entitled to all consequential benefits in pursuance to the regularisation of their services. Necessary process in this regard be completed within a period of four month from the date a certified copy of this order is received.
We have noticed above that the respondents have tried to bulldoze the justified claim of the petitioners by using the might of the State. The petitioners have been repeatedly and unnecessarily dragged to litigation. Consequently, we also deem it appropriate to impose costs upon the respondents which are quantified at Rs.20,000/-.The costs shall be payable by the respondents to the petitioners and shall be shared by the petitioners equally.
(Viney Mittal )
January 30,2006 ( S.N.Aggarwal)
Double Click on any word for its dictionary meaning or to get reference material on it.