VIVEK KUMAR KHANDELWAL AND ORS., Vs. GOVERNMENT OF N.C.T. OF DELHI THROUGH ITS PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE DEPARTMENT,
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Vivek Kumar Khandelwal And Ors.,
Government Of N.C.T. Of Delhi Through Its Principal Secretary, Health And Family Welfare Department,
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J.M.MALIK, J. -
(1.) THIS order shall decide three above said writ petitions wherein similar question of facts and law are involved. The present controversy pivots around the question whether petitioners, who were employed on contractual basis, are entitled to regularization and equal pay for equal work ? For eradication/control of tuberculosis a major programme is in operation since 1962. In the year 1993, the Government of India started a Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (to be referred as RNTCP henceforth). Phase I of this programme was launched in Delhi as a pilot project in one of the Chest Clinics in 1993. In Phase II, the programme was extended to two other chest clinics in January, 1995. The programme was initially funded by the British High Commission up to 1998 and thereafter, the programme was being funded by the World Bank. Delhi Tapedik Unmulan Samiti, respondent No. 2, which is working under the Ministry of Health, GNCT of Delhi is implementing the above said programme for its full implementation. Each chest clinic was treated as a District Tuberculosis Centre and a District Tuberculosis Society. In April, 1998, Delhi Government/Delhi Tapedik Unmulan Samiti advertised 75 posts of Tuberculosis Health Visitors for working in various District Tuberculosis Society. In September, 1998, respondent No. 2 gave advertisement for 16 posts of Data Entry Operators. The names of the petitioners for the post of Tuberculosis Health Visitor/Laboratory Technician/Senior Treatment Supervisor/ Senior Treatment Lab Technicians and Data Entry Operator were either sponsored though Employment Exchange or the petitioners had applied directly for the said post pursuant to the advertisement. Interviews were conducted which were followed by the medical test. The letters of appointment were issued to the petitioners. They are also holding requisite qualifications to perform the requisite duties of Tuberculosis Health Visitor/Laboratory Technician/Senior Treatment Supervisor/ Senior Treatment Lab Technicians and Data Entry Operator for the said posts.
(2.) THE appointment letter listed the following stipulations. The appointment of the petitioners was for one year. The contract could be terminated without any prior notice and without assigning any reasons. There shall be no increase in the salary and the petitioners will not be entitled to any annual increments, allowances etc. Their services were on contract basis and would not be counted towards the benefit of gratuity etc. Again, their appointments are also on work performance assessment, wherein upon dissatisfaction of the employer, the services could be terminated by one month's notice and the period of employment cannot be claimed by the employee for regular appointment. The petitioners were to be paid a consolidated salary of Rs. 5,000/ - per month.
(3.) THE grouse of the petitioners is that the salary of Rs. 5,000/ - is even less than the salary of Class IV employee, whereas the pay scale of Tuberculosis Health Visitor/Laboratory Technician/Senior Treatment Supervisor/ Senior Treatment Lab Technicians and Data Entry Operator is much more. It is alleged that similarly qualified persons who are performing the job of Tuberculosis Health Visitor/Laboratory Technician/Senior Treatment Supervisor/ Senior Treatment Lab Technicians and Data Entry Operators after their appointment, are discharging duties in various departments and drawing a proper scale and the petitioners, who, are also performing the same duty are being paid only Rs. 5,000/ - per month. Although, the petitioners are performing the same job, yet, they are not being paid the proper salary and there is discrimination in pay scales. On the other hand, Delhi Subordinate Selection Services Board advertised for the posts of Data Entry Operators and offered pay scale of Rs. 4000 -6000 and Rs. 4500 -7000 and other perks. Again, sword of Damocles has always being hanging over the petitioners' head as their appointment is time and again being renewed, year after year, after break of a few days.
On the above said grounds, the petitioners have filed the present writ petitions with the prayer to issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus to direct the respondents to treat the petitioners at par with regular employees with all monetary consequential benefits i.e. equal pay for equal work, provident fund, gratuity, seniority and the other benefits and direct the respondents to regularise the services of the petitioners.;
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