‘Equal pay for equal work’ for temporary workers: Punjab High Court

The Punjab High Court, in Secretary, DAV College Managing Committee and another v/s District Judge, Karnal and others (CR-1706-2022 (O&M), delivered on 5th December, 2022 held that temporary workers were eligible for equal pay as the lowest grade regular employee, discharging the same duties. The judgement was presided by Honourable Mr. Justice Harkesh Manuja.


Jurisdiction of Educational Tribunal was invoked by respondent no. 2 for relief of regularisation of her services and for grant of regular pay scale for the post of lab attendant. However, respondent no. 2 was denied the relief of regularisation, but was entitled to the minimum pay scale of regularly appointed lab attendant. Thereby, the respondent no. 2 approached the executing court.


The court applied Article 14 of the Constitution and held that even a temporary employee (differently designated as work-charge, daily wage, casual, ad-hoc, contractual, and the like), de hors the manner of selection and appointment can be directed to be paid wages equal to the salary at the lowest grade of a regular employee, discharging the same duties. Article 39 of the Constitution, which constitutes as one of the Directive Principles of State Policy, was also highlighted by the court and the right to equal pay for equal work was upheld. The court also laid a reference to State of Punjab vs. Jagjit Singh and others, 2016 AIR (Supreme Court) 5176.

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