TANBOR LANGBNANG Vs. NORTH EASTERN HILL UNIVERSITY
LAWS(MEGH)-2013-5-7
HIGH COURT OF MEGHALAYA
Decided on May 03,2013

Tanbor Langbnang Appellant
VERSUS
NORTH EASTERN HILL UNIVERSITY Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) Heard Mr. S.S. Dey, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners and Mr. S. Sen, learned standing counsel for NEHU. In this writ petition, writ petitioners 34 in numbers are praying for a direction to the respondents to grant the status of regular employees to the petitioners along with other consequential benefits by framing a time bound scheme. For deciding the matter in issue in the present writ petition, it is not required to mention the facts in details relating with the filing of the present writ petition, it would suffice to note only the facts admitted by the parties.
(2.) Factual backgrounds:-- The writ petitioners were engaged/appointed as casual labourers/Peon/Gatekeeper on daily wage/fixed salary basis by the respondent No. 3 i.e. Assistant Registrar(Administration), North Eastern Hill University (for short 'NEHU') and the date of their appointments/engagements are given below:-- The terms of engagement/appointment of the petitioners have been extended on various occasions. The last extensions were granted to the petitioners by the respondent authorities by issuing various orders dated 17.09.2010, 22.09.2010, 08.10.2010, 15.10.2010, 10.11.2010, 16.11.2010, 11.10.2010, 26.10.2010, 09.12.2010, 05.01.2011 and 27.01.2011. The nature of engagement of the petitioners as casual labourers on daily wage basis under the orders of the Assistant Registrar (Administration), NEHU are similar and for ready reference, three of the engagement orders are quoted below:-- North Eastern Hills University NEHU Campus Shillong - 793022 (Meghalaya) No. F.13-6/Estt.1/Apptt/90(Vol. XI)/254, Dated 26-10-2010 ORDER Approval of the Registrar, NEHU, Shillong is hereby conveyed to the term of engagement of Shri. W. Myrboh as Casual labourer attached to the Department of Environment Studies on Daily Wage basis for 8(eight) hours duty a day @ 1/30th of the minimum pay of IS Pay band of Rs. 4440-7440/- with grade pay of Rs. 1300/- plus DA on pro-rata basis for a period of 3(three) months i.e. with effect from 22.10.2010 to 21.01.2011 or until further orders whichever is earlier. The above arrangement is purely on casual basis which shall stand terminated on the expiry of the term and will not bestow on him a claim for regular appointment. The expenditure is debitable to the Head "Part 1(NP), A. Estt. Charges 1 Salaries (A) Non-Teaching. Registrar's Office." Sd/- Section Officer Estt.1(Apptt) North Eastern Hills University NEHU Campus Shillong - 793022 (Meghalaya) No. F.13-6/Estt.1/Apptt/90-94 (Vol. III)/233, Dated 08-10-2010 ORDER Approval of the Registrar, NEHU, Shillong is hereby conveyed to the term of engagement of Shri. M. Ryntathiang as Casual labourer attached to the Department of Environment Studies on Daily Wage basis for 8(eight) hours duty a day @ 1/30th of the minimum pay of IS Pay band of Rs. 4440-7440/- with grade pay of Rs. 1300/- plus DA on pro-rata basis for a period of 3(three) months i.e. with effect from 28.12.2010 to 27.03.2011 or until further orders whichever is earlier. The above arrangement is purely on casual basis which shall stand terminated on the expiry of the term and will not bestow on him a claim for regular appointment. The expenditure is debitable to the Head "Part 1(NP), A. Estt. Charges. 1. Salaries (A) Non-Teaching. Registrar's Office. Sd/- Section Officer Estt.1(Apptt) North Eastern Hills University NEHU Campus Shillong - 793022 (Meghalaya) No. F.13-6/Estt.1/Apptt/90 (Vol.XI)/235, Dated 11-10-2010 ORDER Approval of the Registrar, NEHU, Shillong is hereby conveyed to the term of engagement of Shri. B. Surong as Casual labourer attached to the Department of Environment Studies on Daily Wage basis for 8(eight) hours duty a day @ 1/30th of the minimum pay of IS Pay band of Rs. 4440-7440/- with grade pay of Rs. 1300/- plus DA on pro-rata basis for a period of 3(three) months i.e. with effect from 26.10.2010 to 25.01.2011 or until further orders whichever is earlier. The above arrangement is purely on casual basis which shall stand terminated on the expiry of the term and will not bestow on him a claim for regular appointment. The expenditure is debitable to die Head "Part 1(NP), A. Estt. Charges.1.Salaries (A) Non-Teaching. Registrar's Office." Sd/- Section Officer Estt.1(Apptt) It is the practice of the respondents that on various occasions, the terms of appointment/ engagement of the petitioners are extended by issuing fresh orders covering the past period. Till now, the services of the petitioners are being extracted by the respondent authorities with assurance that respective fresh appointment/engagement/extension order would be issued for the petitioners. The petitioners being assured by the respondent authorities that their terms of engagement would be extended, they have been performing their assigned duties with utmost honesty, sincerity and without any complaint from any quarters. The petitioners and others approached this Court by filing a joint writ petition being WP(C) No. 69(SH) 1999 praying for granting of temporary status to the petitioners and also for setting aside the impugned restriction imposed by the authorities from granting temporary status to the petitioners who were engaged after 10.09.1993 by sub-paragraph (2) of para-1 of letter No. F-6- 2/97(CU) dated 22.04.1998. This Court vide judgment and order dated 24.05.2002, allowed the writ petition by setting aside the said impugned restriction with a further direction to the respondents to grant temporary status to the writ petitioners from 01.09.1993 or on completion of one year according to the respective dates of their engagement/appointment. The Division Bench of this Court in W.A. No. 24(SH)2002 filed by the respondents against the said judgment and order of the learned single Judge dated 24.05.2002 had set aside the judgment and order of the learned single Judge vide judgment and order dated 07.06.2005 passed in WA No. 24(SH)2002. It is the further case of the petitioners that as they had rendered more than 20 years in service as Casual employees, their case are covered by Para-53 of the (SCC) of the judgment and order of the Apex Court (Constitution Bench) in Secretary, State of Karnataka v. Umadevi, 2006 4 SCC 1 of the SCC in Uma Devi's case reads as follows:-- 53. One aspect needs to be clarified. There may be cases where irregular appointments (not illegal appointments) as explained in S.V. Narayanappa, 1967 AIR(SC) 1071 R.N. Nanjundappa, 1972 1 SCC 409 and B.N. Nagarajan, 1979 4 SCC 507 and referred to in paragraph 15 above, of duly qualified persons in duly sanctioned vacant posts might have been made and the employees have continued to work for ten years or more but without the intervention of orders of Courts or of tribunals. The question of regularization of the services of such employees may have to be considered on merits in the light of the principles settled by this Court in the cases above referred to and in the light of this judgment. In that context, the Union of India, the State Governments and their instrumentalities should take steps to regularize as a one time measure, the services of such irregularly appointed, who have worked for ten years or more in duly sanctioned posts but not under cover of orders of Courts or of tribunals and should further ensure that regular recruitments are undertaken to fill those vacant sanctioned posts that require to be filled up, in cases where temporary employees or daily wagers are being now employed. The process must be set in motion within six months from this date. We also clarify that regularization, if any already made, but not Sub-Judice, need not be reopened based on this judgment, but there should be no further by-passing of the constitutional requirement and regularizing or making permanent, those not duly appointed as per the constitutional scheme. In compliance with the Para-53 in Umadevi s case, 2006 AIR(SC) 1806 , the respondents should have taken steps to regularize the casual employment of the writ petitioners as a one-time measure. It is the further case of the petitioners that in in State of Karnataka v. M.L. Kesari & Ors,, 2010 AIR(SC) 2587 the Apex Court had made an observation that:-- 8...............................The true effect of the direction is that all persons who have worked for more than ten years as on 10.04.2006 (the date of decision in Umadevi) without the protection of any interim order of any Court or tribunal, in vacant posts, possession the requisite qualification, are entitled to be considered for regularization. The fact that the employer has not undertaken such exercise of regularization within six months of the decision in Umadevi or that such exercise was undertaken only in regard to a limited few, will not disentitle such employees, the right to be considered for regularization in terms of the above directions in Umadevi as a one-time measure....................
(3.) The respondents filed their joint affidavit-in-opposition, wherein it is stated categorically that the petitioners had been appointed as Casual workers depending on the availability of works and not against any sanctioned posts or vacancies. Further, while appointing the petitioners even on casual basis, the procedure prescribed under the Constitutional Scheme of public appointment were not followed. The petitioners have not been serving continuously as there were some breaks in their services.;


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