DELHI DEVELOPMENT HORTICULTURE EMPLOYEES UNION Vs. DELHI ADMINISTRATION DELHI
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: DELHI)
DELHI DEVELOPMENT HORTICULTURE EMPLOYEES UNION
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Sawant J. -
(1.) The petitioner-workmen who were employed on daily wages have filed these petitions for their absorption as regular employees in the Development Department of the Delhi Administration and for injunction prohibiting the termination of their services and also for the difference in wages paid to them and those paid to the regular employees. The petitions are resisted on behalf of the respondents contending that there is no scope for the absorption of the petitioners as they were employed on daily wages with a clear understanding that the schemes under which they were employed had no provision for regularisation of any workman.
(2.) To understand the controversy between the parties, it is necessary to refer to the facts with regard to the employment of the petitioners as brought on record by the respondents.
(3.) During the 5th Five Year Plan, the Central Government had formulated various schemes to provide wage-employment to agricultural and landless labourers during lean periods. One such scheme was "Food for work". Under this scheme, employment was given to the poorer sections of the population in the rural areas partly for food and partly for cash payment. During the 6th Five Year Plan, the objective of the programme was enlarged to include alleviation of rural poverty by distribution of income in favour of the poor and the needy population in the rural areas by providing employment opportunities to them. With this view, a new programme called the National Rural Employment Programme was started in October 1980 replacing the "Food for Work" programme. During the period of the same Plan, another scheme called "Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme" was launched on August 15, 1983 with the same objective of generating additional employment in the rural areas particularly for the landless workers. Under these programmes, works in rural areas resulting in durable community assets, social forestry, village roads etc. were taken up. Pursuant to them, a scheme for plantation of trees was taken up at various sites in the rural areas of Delhi. The entire said work was done by providing daily wage-employment to rural workers including the present petitioners. The labour was employed at these sites depending upon their availability in rural areas and without reference to any Employment Exchange either in the Union Territory of Delhi or anywhere else. Since the Social Forestry Programme involved knowledge of plantation and agricultural practices, some unemployed agricultural graduates/ diploma-holders who were ready to work on daily wage employment and had approached the District Rural Development Agency ('DRDA' for short) through various officials and non-officials, were also given daily wage employment under the said programmes.;
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