STATE OF ODISHA Vs. PURNANANDA MOHANTY
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
State Of Odisha
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(1.) BY THE COURT Heard Mr.Manoj Kumar Khuntia, learned Additional Government Advocate appearing for the petitioners-State and Mr.Biswabihari Mohanty, learned counsel for the opposite party, who entered appearance through Caveat, by Video Conferencing Mode.
(2.) The State of Odisha and its authorities in Skill Development and Technical Education Department, Bhubaneswar have filed this writ petition assailing the order dated 23.02.2018 (Annexure-3) passed by the learned State Administrative Tribunal, Cuttack Bench Cuttack allowing O.A. No.3828(C) of 2014 filed by the opposite party.
(3.) Mr. Khuntia, learned AGA for the petitioners-State submits that the opposite party was appointed as a Junior Clerk-cum-Typist, vide order No.1140 dated 01.02.1988 in the Directorate of Employment, Odisha, Bhubaneswar being sponsored by the District Employment Exchange, Cuttack. On being so appointed, his service book was opened and the opposite party used to get annual increments and other benefits regularly as applicable to regular employees except Time Bound Advancement Scale of Pay. In the letter sanctioning increments, the designation of the opposite party was described as Ad hoc Junior Clerk objecting to which he filed his representation. Subsequently, he filed representation to the Director of Employment, Odisha-petitioner no.2 for redressal of his grievance. Consequently, the petitioner No.2- Director of Employment, Odisha, vide his letter dated 12.11.2008, directed to stop granting annual increments and other benefits to the Ad hoc Junior Clerks. Being aggrieved by such order, the opposite party submitted a representation before the Secretary, Labour and Employment Department, Odisha, Bhubaneswar and accordingly the State Government, vide its letter No.4068 dated 04.05.2009, directed the petitioner No.2-Director of Employment to grant annual increments to the opposite party and allowed him to revise his scale of pay pending regularization. While the matter stood thus, the Government of Odisha in the Department of Labour and Employment, vide its letter No.3481 dated 28.04.2010, directed regularization of services of the opposite party referring to General Administration Department Notification No.9197 dated 30.03.1991. But, the Finance Department vide its letter dated 20.08.2010, refused to give concurrence to the proposal for regularization submitted pursuant to letter dated 28.04.2010. Thus, the opposite party was not regularized. Subsequently, the Government in Labour and Employment Department, vide its order No.6973 dated 20.08.2013, directed the Director of Employment (petitioner No.2) to withdraw all increments and revision in scale of pay sanctioned in favour of the opposite party and some other similarly situated employees and to recover the excess amount received by them. Assailing the same, the opposite party along with others preferred OA No.458(C) of 2011 and OA No.459(C) of 2011 before the State Administrative Tribunal, Cuttack Bench, Cuttack. Both the Original Applications were disposed of vide a common order dated 08.03.2013 holding as follows:-
"12. The applicants entered Govt. Service after facing a regular process of selection. They had the requisite qualification to be appointed as J. Clerks. Hence, their appointment was only irregular and not illegal and they were no way responsible for such irregularity. Hence, their case needs to be considered by the Govt. In exercise of their power of relaxation under Rule14 of the District Offices Rules.
13(sic). The Govt. in their order dtd. 28.4.2010 at Annx.9 themselves found the case of the applicants for regularization to be genuine and directed their regularization by invoking the relaxation clause. But the Finance Department reversed the decision on the erroneous ground that the applicants were engaged on 44 days basis with a gap of some days. Such an observation of the Finance Department was wholly uncalled for. The applicants were never appointed on 44 days basis. Hence, the subsequent order dtd.20.08.2010 at Annx.10, withdrawing Annx.9 on the non-existent ground that the applicants were appointed for 44 days with gaps, is liable to be quashed.
14(sic). In the result, both the original applications are allowed, and the order dtd.20.08.2010 at Annx.10 is quashed. The respondents are directed to consider the claim of the applicants for regularization by invoking the relaxation provision under Rule-14 of the O.M.S. Rules, 1985 in terms of letter dtd.28.04.2010 at Annx.9 and take a decision within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order."
In compliance of the said direction, the petitioner No.1 regularized the services of the opposite party and similarly situated persons prospectively, vide notification No.EMP2/2014 3833/ETET dated 30.06.2014. The opposite party had also approached learned Tribunal in OA No.2623(C) of 2010 separately assailing the said withdrawal order of increments and other financial benefits, which was disposed of on 21.02.2012 setting aside the said order of withdrawal of increments and other financial benefits.
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