While addressing a dispute regarding the application of the employee benefit scheme, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh held that if two policy schemes benefits can be availed then the most beneficial one out of the two will be applicable to the employee. This judgment was passed in the case of Nandini Thakur vs. State of H.P. and others [CWPOA No.1633/2019] by a Single Bench consisting of Hon’ble Justice Vivek Singh Thakur.
The Petitioner approached the High court to quash the order passed by the Superintending engineer whereby the benefit of regularization extended to the petitioner from 1.01.2000 as per the state policy on completion of eight years continuous service with 240 days in every calendar year was withdrawn and the date of regularization was put as 30.12.2006.
The division bench of the High Court held that when a new scheme is introduced and the same is more beneficial than the last one; the employees who are governed by the old scheme and new scheme may devolve the benefits of the earlier scheme for the latest scheme. In other words, an employee who is entitled to two policies may choose that policy that is more beneficial to them. The High Court placing the Mool Raj Upadhyaya’s case [1994 Supp (2) SCC 316] as an example held that, if subsequent policies are not extended to the employees for their benefit, it will cause a miscarriage of justice because the senior employees would be entitled to a work -charge status later than his juniors.
Based on the facts of the present case, the complainant was appointed as a daily – wager before 1.1.1994 who completed 240 days in a calendar year on 31.12.1993. therefore, she was entitled to the benefit of the Mool Raj Upadhyaya’s case for conferment of regularization on completion of 10 years of continuous service, with 240 days in every calendar year from the date of initial appointment. As per the Regularization Policy released by the government in 2000, the petitioner conferred the work-charge status or regularization on completion of eight years of service. The High Court held, on the application of the principle laid down under the Gauri Dutt’s case [HLJ 2008 (HP) 366] she would be entitled to the same in lower grade In April 2000 and for a claim of her right against the post of higher scale/grade she would be entitled to the status in 2001. While calculating the benefit against the post of higher grade, the period against lower grade is to be deducted.
The Hon’ble High Court concluded by stating that, “order dated 25.10,2012 (Annexure P-6) is quashed and Office Order dated 25.3.2008 read with the Order dated 10.1.2003 is maintained. Petitioner shall be entitled for all consequential benefits accordingly.”