Consideration of the post status of the anganwadi workers : High Court Of Calcutta
The question that came up for consideration before the honourable Supreme Court was whether Anganwadi workers held a civil post. Their lordships answered the same in negative and dismissed the appeal. In this judgement, the apex court opined that the posts of anganwadi workers were not statutorily created posts but was a creation in terms of a scheme. Though the employer and employee relationship exists in such posts, but they cannot be equated to the status of a civil servant, was the opinion expressed, was upheld by the high court of Calcutta, by the learned bench of honourable Justice Tanmay ghosh, in the case of Mr. Swapan Kr. Nandi V. Mr. Uttam Rajan, W.P.26650 of 2013.
In the mentioned case writ petitions from different districts questioning the process of selection of third respondent or the Additional Director General of Police and also West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services, Government of West Bengal, was challenged contending that none of the procedure contemplated in the Notification was adopted, undue favours were shown to certain candidates by inserting candidates, who were really not qualified as per the Notification calling for applications. Then, the question came up for consideration is whether writ petitions could be entertained to decide or adjudicate the lis raised before us with reference to the reliefs sought in the writ petitions.
According to the petitioners, they do not hold posts to be treated as civil posts. Therefore, the writ petitioners cannot be asked to approach the Administrative Tribunal as such application shall be not maintainable under Section 15 of the Administrative Tribunal Act. According to them, the posts in question cannot be treated as posts amenable for the process contemplated under Article 311 of the Constitution of India in the absence of specific recruitment rules to be followed for the contractual services in question. Several decisions were also referred to by the learned Counsel, Mr. Nandi, appearing for writ petitioners in W. P. 12246 (W) of 2013 and his arguments are adopted by other learned counsel representing the writ petitioners in other matters.
It was finally laid out by the high court that the nature of the post and the applicability of provisions of Article 311 of the Constitution of India, learned State Counsel, on instructions submits, it was never the stand of the State that the posts in question could be equated with the status of Civil Posts, rather all along the stand of State was that they were contractual appointees in accordance with the procedure mentioned in the Notification inviting the applications. Therefore, according to the learned State Counsel of the high court, the petitioners cannot be relegated to the Administrative Tribunal. Another question that came up for consideration before the High Court was whether Anganwadi workers held a civil post. Their Court answered the same in negative and dismissed the appeal. In this judgement, the Court opined that the posts of Anganwadi workers were not statutorily created posts but was a creation in terms of a scheme. Though the employer and employee relationship exists in such posts, but they cannot be equated to the status of a civil servant, was the opinion expressed.
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Judgement reviewed by – Rani Banerjee