& 2006 who completed 10 years service – Supreme Court Judgement
CIVIL APPEAL NOS.7423-7429 OF 2018
(Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) Nos. 19832-19838 OF 2017)
3. The admitted position is that the appellants are irregularly appointed employees of the State Government. They sought regularisation of their status on the ground that they had put in more than 10 years of service and were therefore entitled to be regularised. The High Court took the view that the decision of the Constitution Bench of this Court in Secretary, State of Karnataka and Ors. v. Umadevi (3) and Ors.1 did not permit their regularisation since they had not worked for 10 years on the cut-off date of 10th April, 2006 when the Constitution Bench rendered its decision. According to the High Court, the Regularisation Rules provided a one-time measure of regularisation of the services of irregularly appointed employees based on the cut-off date of 10th April,2006 in terms of the judgment of the Constitution Bench. Therefore, since the appellants had not put in 10 years of service they could not be regularised.
“9. The term “one-time measure” has to be understood in its proper perspective. This would normally mean that after the decision in Umadevi (3), each department or each instrumentality should undertake a one-time exercise and prepare a list of all casual, daily-wage or ad hoc employees who have been working for more than ten years without the intervention of courts and tribunals and subject them to a process verification as to whether they are working against vacant posts and possess the requisite qualification for the post and if so, regularise their services.
10. At the end of six months from the date of decision in Umadevi (3), cases of several daily-wage/ad hoc/casual employees were still pending before courts. Consequently, several departments and instrumentalities did not commence the one-time regularisation process. On the other hand, some government departments or instrumentalities undertook the onetime exercise excluding several employees from consideration either on the ground that their cases were pending in courts or due to sheer oversight. In such circumstances, the employees who were entitled to be considered in terms of para 53 of the decision in Umadevi (3), will not lose their right to be considered for regularisation, merely because the one-time exercise was completed without considering their cases, or because the sixmonth period mentioned in para 53 of Umadevi (3) has expired. The one-time exercise should consider all daily-wage/ad hoc/casual employees who had put in 10 years of continuous service as on 10-4-2006 without availing the protection of any interim orders of courts or tribunals. If any employer had held the one-time exercise in terms of para 53 of Umadevi (3), but did not consider the cases of some employees who were entitled to the benefit of para 53 of Umadevi (3), the employer concerned should consider their cases also, as a continuation of the one-time exercise. The one-time exercise will be concluded only when all the employees who are entitled to be considered in terms of para 53 of Umadevi (3), are so considered.
11. The object behind the said direction in para 53 of Umadevi (3) is twofold. First is to ensure that those who have put in more than ten years of continuous service without the protection of any interim orders of courts or tribunals, before the date of decision in Umadevi (3) was rendered, are considered for regularisation in view of their long service. Second is to ensure that the departments/instrumentalities do not perpetuate the practice of employing persons on daily-wage/ad hoc/casual basis for long periods and then periodically regularise them on the ground that they have served for more than ten years, thereby defeating the constitutional or statutory provisions relating to recruitment and appointment. The true effect of the direction is that all persons who have worked for more than ten years as on 10-4-2006 [the date of decision in Umadevi (3)] without the protection of any interim order of any court or tribunal, in vacant posts, possessing the requisite qualification, are entitled to be considered for regularisation. The fact that the employer has not undertaken such exercise of regularisation within six months of the decision in Umadevi (3) or that such exercise was undertaken only in regard to a limited few, will not disentitle such employees, the right to be considered for regularisation in terms of the above directions in Umadevi (3) as a one-time measure.”
(Madan B. Lokur)
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