Contractual employees cannot claim any right to regularisation or absorption of service if continued on an ad hoc basis for decades: High Court of Delhi

The High Court of Delhi, through learned judges, Justices Amit Mahajan and  Vibhu Bakhru in the case of Desh Deepak Srivastava v. Delhi High Court & Anr (W.P.(C) No. 9570/2015) observed that contractual employees cannot claim any right to regularisation or absorption of  service if continued on an ad hoc basis for decades.

BRIEF FACTS: A National Policy and Action Plan for implementation of information and communication technology (referred to as “ICT”) in the Indian Judiciary, was promulgated by the e-Committee, Supreme Court of India in the year 2005. The High Court of Delhi issued an advertisement inviting applications for filling up the positions of “System Officer” and “System Assistants” to be deployed in subordinate courts. It specifically mentioned that the said positions are purely on temporary and contractual basis for a fixed period and are funded by the Government of India, e-Courts mission mode project and are coterminous with the said project. Petitioners on being successful in their applications were given temporary employment and were assigned responsibilities of System Officers and System Assistants. It also mentioned that the services are liable to be terminated without any notice and/or assigning any reason thereof, and that the person will not have any right to regular/continuous service as a System Officer. The services of the petitioner were finally terminated.The petitioners then gave a representation to the High Court seeking absorption in the regular Cadre of the Court. The non-consideration of their representation and issuance of a fresh vacancy notice by the High Court of Delhi for appointments to the post of Junior Judicial Assistant (Technical) led to filing of the present writ petition.

FINDINGS OF THE COURT: After hearing the contentions raised by both the parties, the court held that the petitioners who were contractual employees in the Establishment of District Court cannot claim any right to regularisation or absorption by the Establishment of Delhi High Court as the two are totally independent and separate Establishments. The court observed that the vacancy notice issued by Delhi High Court for appointment to the post of JJA(T) in Delhi High Court had no connection with the petitioners, who were engaged on contractual basis and were deployed in subordinate Courts purely on temporary and contractual basis. The court found no merit in the present writ petition and it was accordingly dismissed.

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