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The High Court of Orissa held that there is no compulsion of rule that one ad-hoc employee can not be replaced by another ad-hoc employee.

In the case of Siba Prasanna Pathy v. State of Odisha & Ors. Case No.: W.P.(C) No. 12250 of 2022, Mr. S.P. Nath, the petitioner’s attorney, argued that it was unlawful, capricious, and against the established legal precedent for the Opp. Parties to replace one set of guest faculties. Furthermore, because the petitioner’s service was terminated without adhering to the natural justice principle, the dismissal order is unlawful in the eyes of the law. According to the Orissa High Court, there is not a strict requirement that one ad hoc/temporary employee never be replaced by another ad hoc employee. Additionally, it was noted that an ad-hoc employee has no vested claim to his position and that, if shown to be incompetent, he may be replaced at any moment by another ad-hoc employee.

Facts: On 01.08.2017, the petitioner was hired by Khallikote Unitary University as “guest faculty” in the PG Department of History. On April 30, 2022, the Opp. Party No. 3 (the university’s registrar) published an advertisement for the selection of guest faculty in a number of subjects, including history. Following the publication of such an advertisement, the petitioner and other guest faculty members who were employed by Opp. Part Party No. 3 raised objections, claiming that because they met the requirements outlined in the advertisement, there was no need or justification for publishing another one. Despite this, the Opp. Party No. 3 further published a notice on April 30, 2022, requesting that department heads telephone the appropriate guest faculty members to advise them not to report for duty as of May 1, 2022. The petitioner filed this writ petition after being enraged by the aforementioned directives.

Judgement: According to the Orissa High Court, there is not a strict requirement that one ad hoc/temporary employee never be replaced by another ad hoc employee. Additionally, it was noted that an ad-hoc employee has no vested claim to his position and that, if shown to be incompetent, he may be replaced at any moment by another ad-hoc employee. In making this determination, the Court appears to have deviated from the previous ruling by the Supreme Court in Manish Gupta and Others v. President, Jan Bhagidari Samiti and Others. The Court came to the conclusion that because the role of a guest lecturer is contractual in character, he cannot be granted the right to continue in that capacity.

The institution’s policy governs the person’s appointment and tenure in this circumstance, and the courts are unable to intervene in such matters. Since this isn’t a regular position, the institution has the right to let him stay or let him go based on his performance, behaviour, etc. The court should not be permitted to issue any orders of continuation, thus the so-called equity arising out of the temporary employment and demanding continuation, per se, fails, it was stated.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SNIGDHA DUBEY.

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