UNION OF INDIA Vs. MOHAN PAL
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
UNION OF INDIA
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K. G. Balakrishnan, J. -
(2.)In all these appeals, common questions of law arise for consideration and hence they are being disposed of by a common judgment. In one set of appeals, the Union of India is the appellant and in another set of appeals, Lt. Governor (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) is the appellant. The matter relates to the grant of 'temporary' status to the casual workers working in some of the departments of the appellants. The Department of Personnel and Training of the Government of India formulated a scheme for the grant of 'temporary' status and regularisation of the services of casual labourers working in the various departments under the Government of India. The Scheme came into effect from 1.9.1993. Clause 3 of the Scheme stated that it would apply to all casual labourers in employment of the Ministries/Departments of Government of India and their attached and subordinating offices, and that this Scheme may not apply to Railways and Telecommunications Departments. The Scheme envisaged conferring of 'Temporary' status on all casual labourers who had worked for at least 240 days in a year (206 days in the case of offices observing 5 days a week). The main features of the Scheme are as follows:-
(1) Conferment of 'temporary' status on casual labourers would not involve any change in their duties and responsibilities and the engagement will be on daily rates of pay on need basis.
(2) The casual labourers who acquire 'temporary' status will not, however, be brought on to the permanent establishment unless they are selected through regular selection process for Group 'D' posts.
(3) The wages and wage rate will be fixed at the minimum of the pay scale for a corresponding regular Group 'D' official including D.A., H.R.A. and any other welfare measures.
(4) Benefits of increments at the same rate applicable to a Group 'D' employee would be taken into account for calculating pro rata basis and the leave entitlement would also be on a pro rate basis, viz., one day for every 10 days of work.
(5) Maternity leave to lady casual labourer would be permissible on par with Group 'D' employees.
(6) It is also made clear that 50% of the service rendered under the 'temporary' status would be counted for the purpose of retirement benefits after regularisation.
(7) After rendering three years' continuous service after conferment of 'temporary' status, the casual labourers would be treated on par with temporary Group 'D' employees for the purpose of contribution to General Provident Fund, and they would also be eligible for the grant of Festival Advance, Flood Advance on the same conditions as are applicable to Temporary Group 'D' employees.
(8) They would be entitled to Productivity Linked Bonus/Ad hoc Bonus only at the rates applicable to casual labourers.
(3.)It was also made clear that apart from these benefits, that may accrue to the employees on conferment of 'temporary' status, the casual workers working in the Industrial Establishment may be entitled to any additional benefits that may be admissible to them under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act. Clause 7 specifically states that despite the conferment of 'temporary' status, the services of a casual labourer may be dispensed with by giving a notice of one month in writing and the casual labourer with 'temporary' status can also quit service by giving a written notice of one month. The wages for the notice period will be payable only for the days on which such casual worker is engaged on work. While filling up the vacancies in group 'D' post, some preference is given to the casual labourers who have been conferred 'temporary' status. Two out of every three vacancies in Group 'D' cadres in respective offices where the casual labourers have been working would be filled up as per extent Recruitment Rules and in accordance with the instructions issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, from amongst casual workers with 'temporary' status.
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