JASODABEN P.SENVA Vs. STATE OF GUJRAT & ORS.
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
State Of Gujrat And Ors.
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N. V. Anjaria, J. -
(1.) A short question which is involved in this petition is whether an appointee on the post of Anganwadi is entitled to continue on the job even after such appointee stood in the Panchayat Election and got elected as member of District Panchayat.
(2.) What is prayed by the petitioner by filing the present petition under Article 226 of the Constitution is to set aside order dated 28.05.2013 passed by the second respondentChild Development Officer, Thasara, District Kheda. It is further prayed to reinstate the petitioner as Anganwadi worker.
(3.) Noticing the relevant facts in a nutshell, the petitioner was appointed as Anganwadi worker under the project known as Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). The elections to the Kheda District Panchayat were held in 2013. While having got appointed and working on post as Anganwadi worker, the petitioner contested the Panchayat election and became a member of Panchayat upon being getting elected. It appears that upon happening of such eventuality, the second respondent conveyed the said fact to the third respondentProgramme officer, ICDS Branch, Kheda. Thereafter, the fourth respondent authorityAssistant District Development Officer pointed out that as per instructions in communication dated 26.05.2010 and 04.06.2010 issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, the honorary Anganwadi workers, such as the petitioner could not hold two posts simultaneously.
3.1 The Government of India, Ministry of Women and Child Development by communications dated 26.05.2010 and again on 26.11.2010 opined about Anganwadi workers who contest the election of local bodies. Referring to the Ministry's stand, it was stated that for an Anganwadi worker who gets selected as member of the Panchayat or local body, to continue to work under the ICDS Scheme would not be appropriate because it would necessarily take such person from the core activities and would affect the delivery of service adversely under the ICDS Scheme.
3.2 By communication dated 04.05.2013, the petitioner was intimated that since she was elected as member of District Panchayat, it was not permissible to draw salary as Anganwadi worker as also get remuneration as Chairman of Social Justice Committee of the Panchayat. In the very letter, the petitioner was asked to give her option whether she would like to continue as Anganwadi worker. The petitioner did not offer her option, instead in a written statement, stated that she was getting honorary pay as Anganwadi helper and by getting elected, she did not become the government servant. In other words, she stated that since she was on the post of Anganwadi worker getting honorary salary, her election to the Panchayat would not attach any disability.;
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