Government employees cannot be discontinued from service without valid reasons: High Court of Chhattisgarh

A government employee has the right to hold on to his job and cannot be discontinued from service without valid reasons such as misconduct, gross negligence, violation of specific service rules or other similar offences. Therefore a worker who has been removed from government service has the right to either be reappointed to service or to be given a valid reason for being discontinued from service. This issue has been addressed by a single member bench of the High Court of Chhattisgarh consisting of Justice Sam Koshy in the case of State of Chattisgarh v Rameshwar Prasad Katakwar [Writ Petition (L) No. 7412 of 2010] on the 11th of June 2021.

The respondent, Rameshwar Prasad Katakwar is a 40 year old daily wage worker who worked under the state’s department of water resources from 1982 till 1995 when he was discontinued from service abruptly. He raised a dispute under the Industrial Disputes Act and the Labour Court in found that the he is entitled to the benefit of reinstatement without back-wages and passed an order 1st April 2010 for the same. The state of Chhattisgarh who are petitioners in this case, challenged the Labour Court’s order through a writ petition before the High Court in the same year.

The court noted that on 8th March 2019, the new state government of Chhattisgarh passed an order regularising the respondent in service and that he has been working as a regular employee under the petitioners since then. Additionally it was noted that the respondent had served the petitioners for a considerable amount of time was nearing the end of his service career with only a few years left for him to reach the age of retirement.

Honourable Justice Sam Koshy can be quoted as saying “Under the circumstances, this court is inclined to dispose of the writ petition holding that the award passed by the Labour Court does not warrant any interference at this stage in the light of subsequent development that has transpired particularly in favour of the respondent-worker”.

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