UNION OF INDIA Vs. S. RAJU
LAWS(SC)-2020-2-154
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on February 18,2020

UNION OF INDIA Appellant
VERSUS
S. Raju Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.)This appeal has been filed by Union of India challenging the judgment of the High Court dated 22.08.2007 dismissing the Writ Petition No.12315/2004, filed by the Union of India and two others, challenging the order of Central Administrative Tribunal dated 30.03.2004. The respondents in this appeal were engaged as daily wager by the Canteen Committee of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy, Kalpakkam. The canteen was neither set up by the Government nor any grant was sanctioned for starting the same, only the premises and some furnitures were provided by the department and the Canteen Committee was nominated to manage the day to day affairs of the canteen and the emoluments were paid on the basis of funds received by the Canteen Committee out of the revenue generated through day to day sales for which separate saving account was also opened. The respondents, who were engaged in the said canteen on daily wage basis, filed original application before the Central Administrative Tribunal being O.A. No.805 of 2003 seeking a direction to appoint the applicants (respondents herein) in regular post of fitter/helper or any equivalent post and regularise their services as per Rule. The O.A. filed by the respondents were opposed by the Union of India. It was pleaded that canteen was started in 1989 with minimum requirement on a no profit no loss basis by a team of scientific officers. Few senior officers had also made modest contribution to begun the operation. The revenue generated on day to day sale basis was utilized for meeting the expenses. The Government was in no manner involved in engaging any person in the canteen. It was stated that applicants were only issued the entry permits by the department only for the purpose of entering the premises as and when required by the Canteen Management Committee, since the canteen was situated in a sensitive and prohibited zone. The Canteen Committee was not entitled to issue entry permits hence the entry permit was sought from the authorities. The payments made to the applicants were entirely managed by the Canteen Committee from their own funds. The claim was contested. The Tribunal vide judgment dated 30.03.2004 allowed the application and the respondents i.e. appellants herein were directed to consider the case of the applicants for regularization in accordance with the rules. Aggrieved against the judgment of the Tribunal, the writ petition was filed in the High Court which too was dismissed by the High Court by the impugned judgment. The reasons given by the High Court in upholding the claim of the respondents is contained in paragraph 5, which is to the following effect:
"5. After hearing the learned counsel for the writ petitioners and the respondents 1 to 6 and on perusal of the materials available on record, this court is of the view that the writ petitioners cannot continue the respondents 1 to 6/applicants is when others cases were considered and regularised, the claim of the respondents 1 to 6/appicants is rejected on the ground that they are not appointed in regular vacancies. In view of the same, the order passed by the Tribunal in the Original Application is sustainable in law."

(2.)Learned counsel for the appellants submits that there being no relationship of master and servant between the appellants and the respondents and when there is no obligation on the appellants to even pay their salary, there is no question of issuing any direction to regularise them. The respondents were not engaged by the appellants or any Government officer and they were engaged only by Canteen Management Committee to be paid from their own revenue generated by the canteen. They are not the employees of the Government and could not claim regularization.
(3.)Learned counsel for the respondents refuting the submissions contends that one S.E. Kuppan, who was also similarly situated, has been regularised along with 19others and the respondents have been discriminated by the appellants in not considering them for regularization. It is submitted that the name of the respondents find place in various orders issued by the Government of India. He further submits that Canteen Advisory Committee has also appointed by the Government of India, in this context he has referred to various orders passed by the Government of India from time to time.
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