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The Labour Court has little competence for direct regularization if the worker is not named under the constitutional scheme: :Chhattisgarh High Court

Daily wagers have no fundamental right to be absorbed in service as 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 of India. The Judgment was passed by the High Court of Jharkhand in the case of State of Chhattisgarh vs Mohit Ram S/o Jagat Ram [Writ Petition (L) No. 7062 of 2011] by Single Bench consisting of Hon’ble Shri Justice P. Sam Koshy.

The facts of the case, in brief, are that the respondent-worker has approached the Labour Court Rajnandgaon under Section 31(3) of the Chhattisgarh Industrial Relations Act, 1960 (in short, IR Act) against the alleged discontinuance of his service by the petitioner.

The petitioner contends that the Labour Court has failed to appreciate the evidence which have come on record and have also ignored the pleadings that have been brought by the authorities before the Labour Court and as such the finding was per se contrary to evidence and also is a perverse finding. He also submits that the worker involved in the present dispute has failed to establish the fact that he continuously worked for 240 days before the date of discontinuance of his service by leading cogent evidence.

Moreover, “the nature of engagement of the worker was purely temporary in nature and he did not have any substantial or indefeasible right created in his favour for claiming the benefit that he has sought for.”

Learned Counsel for the respondent-worker on the other hand submits that from the plain reading of the impugned orders it reflects that the award passed by the Labour Court and which has been affirmed by the Industrial Court is based on a finding of fact which does not warrant any interference. The contention also is that even otherwise under the order passed by the Labour Court at the first instance the worker stands reinstated in service way back in the year, 2005 and since then he has been continuously working with the petitioner and as such he has now put in about 16 years of service after reinstatement and therefore applying the doctrine of equity the impugned orders do not warrant any interference at this juncture.

Relying on the case of State of Karnataka v. Umadevi, the court 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.”

The court stated that the present writ petition stands partly allowed to the extent that the impugned order does not warrant any interference to the order of reinstatement. However, so far as grant of 50 per cent back wages are concerned, the writ petitions of the State so far as two other workers whose cases were also decided along with the order under challenge in the present writ petition. wherein this court had already decided the same upholding the order of reinstatement with 50 per cent back wages, however, the order of regularization was set aside”.

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