Decided on September 14,2017

State Of Maharashtra And Others Appellant
Shriram Sonba Bharne And Another Respondents


MANISH PITALE,J. - (1.) These writ petitions have been filed by the State of Maharashtra and its functionaries challenging common judgment and order dated 13-01-2006 passed by the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (Tribunal) allowing a bunch of original applications filed by the respondents and other similarly situated persons. The respondents were all employees of Remand Homes/Observation Homes which were earlier run by private voluntary organizations and were later on taken over by the petitioner-State Government. The petitioner-State took over the Remand Homes/Observation Homes in districts of Bhandara, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Chandrapur, Wardha and Amravati by issuing Government Resolutions on various dates between 1982 and 1988.
(2.) Although it is claimed by the petitioner-State and the Tribunal indeed has proceeded on the basis that the said Remand Homes/Observation Homes were taken over by the petitioner-State exercising powers under Section 31(3) of the Bombay Children Act, 1948, (hereinafter referred to as "the Act of 1948") perusal of the various Government Resolutions whereby the Remand Homes/Observation Homes have been taken over, shows that there is no reference to the specific provision albeit a reference to the said Act has been made in the Government Resolutions. It is an admitted position that although under Section 31(3) of the said Act, the petitioner-State can take over such Remand Homes/Observation Homes for a temporary period not exceeding 5 years and for a further period of 2 years for special reasons to be recorded in writing, while taking over the aforesaid Remand Homes/Observation Homes, of which the respondents were employees, there was no specific period of take over provided in the Government Resolutions and such action of taking over was not limited to the period of 7 years and it continued beyond the said period.
(3.) Upon the said Remand Homes/Observation Homes being taken over by the petitioner-State, the respondent employees continued to work without any break. As per section 31(5) of the Act of 1948, it is specifically provided that the service conditions applicable to the employees of such taken over institutions shall not be varied to their disadvantage. Although under Section 31(6) of the Act of 1948 it was provided that on the expiry of the said maximum period of 7 years, the State shall hand over the institution to the Management concerned, in the instant case, no such step was taken by the petitioner-State Government to return the said Remand Homes/Observation Homes to their respective erstwhile managements. In other words, the respondents continued to be employees of the Remand Homes/Observation Homes as taken over by the petitioner-State.;

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