Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 2
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the previous Haryana government’s policy to regularise the services of contractual and ad hoc employees. The policy was framed by Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government ahead of the state Assembly elections in 2014.
At the time of the policy’s announcement, more than 20,000 Group B, C and D ad hoc/contract employees with three years of service were expected to benefit.
As the case came up for resumed hearing, the Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Sudip Ahluwalia also made it clear that the fate of employees regularised in view of the policy would be subject to the final decision.
The developments took place during the hearing of a bunch of petitions filed by Yogesh Tyagi of Sonepat district and other petitioners in August, 2014. The court was told that the then state government was trying to lure the general public by offering regularisation of jobs to employees working on contractual, ad hoc or temporary basis to gain political advantage in the Vidhan Sabha elections .The petitioners submitted the state government was even regularising the services of Group B employees, who were neither appointed through a proper selection procedure/advertisement nor appointed on a contract basis by following a set procedure.
The petitioners had also submitted that the action had resulted in grave injustice to eligible meritorious candidates legitimately waiting for appointments to be made through a proper selection procedure.
It was also submitted that the state government’s decision was against the constitutional provisions and guidelines issued by the Supreme Court. Referring to “state of Karnataka and others versus Uma Devi and others” case, the petitioners contended that the apex court had held that the action of the government authorities in regularising ineligible and irregular appointees appointed on a contract basis, daily wagers or on ad hoc basis without following a proper selection procedure was not only against the Constitution but also disrespect to the constitutional ethosc.
The Supreme Court had further directed all states to restrain from making illegal appointments in future and also permitted them to come out with a one-time policy for regularising employees appointed through a proper selection procedure and continuing in service for 10 years.
Thereafter, the Haryana government framed a regularisation policy in July, 2011. The court was told the state government’s 2011 policy was a one-time measure and it was clarified that employees would not be entitled to claim it as a matter of right.
It was further stated in the policy that in future illegal/irregular appointment on ad hoc/contract would not be made against sanctioned posts.
But, the previous Hooda government contrary to its earlier stand came out with the regularisation policy.
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