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There is no constitutional right of those who have been working on a regular salary, briefly or contractually, to invoke the right to be absorbed in service: Gauhati High Court

There is no fundamental right of those who have been working on a regular salary, briefly or contractually, to invoke the right to be consumed in work. They cannot be said to be holders of a position since routine nominations may only be rendered in accordance with the provisions of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. The desire to be handled fairly like all workers paid on a daily basis does not apply to a demand for fair care for others who were frequently working. The judgment was passed by The High of Court Gauhati in the case of Pradip Kr. Das vs The Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and 3 Ors [WP(C)/4710/2015] by Single Bench consisting of Hon’ble Shri Justice JUSTICE KALYAN RAI SURANA.

According to the allegations in this writ petition, the petitioner was authorized to collect taxes on behalf of the Bakalia Town Committee in 2008, and a formal appointment letter as Tax Collector was released. While the respondent authorities considered the petitioner’s accounts to be valid, it was discovered after the audit that an amount of Rs.79,721/- was not deposited in the accounts of the Government of Assam.

The learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that without conducting the departmental enquiry, the respondent authorities could not have determined any amount recoverable from the petitioner. It is also submitted that not only the Bakalia Town Committee had verified the accounts submitted by the petitioner and in its meeting, but it was also resolved that the accounts were correct. it is submitted that refusal to assign duty to the petitioner at the instance of respondent amounted to dismissal of the petitioner from service without holding any enquiry, depriving the petitioner of natural justice to be heard.

The Learned Standing Counsel for the respondent has referred to the statements made in the affidavit in- opposition. It is submitted that Bakalia Town Committee had been constituted as per the provisions of Karbi Anglong District (Administration of Town Committee) Act, 1954. It is submitted that the petitioner was neither appointed after following any selection process nor his appointment was approved by the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council. However, subsequently, the work of the petitioner was not continued.

The Court made observations while referring to the apex court case State of Karnataka Vs. Umadevi, wherein it was held that “there is no fundamental right in those who have been employed on daily wages or temporarily or on a contractual basis, to claim that they have a right to be absorbed in service. As has been held by this Court, they cannot be said to be holders of a post, since, a regular appointment could be made only by making appointments consistent with the requirements of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. The right to be treated equally with the other employees employed on daily wages, cannot be extended to a claim for equal treatment with those who were regularly employed. That would be treating unequals as equals. It cannot also be relied on to claim a right to be absorbed in service even though they have never been selected in terms of the relevant recruitment rule.” the petitioner is not found to have any legal or constitutional right to continue to work as Tax Collector of Bakalia Town Committee, as such, all other reliefs sought for by the petitioner stands rejected.

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