CONTRACT WORKERS NEED NOT BE REGULARISED: KARNATAKA HIGH COURT
Source | http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com : By Shyam Prasad S, Bangalore Mirror Bureau
Dismisses petition by taluk nodal officers of Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation
Contractual workers do not have a right to seek regularisation or absorption, the High Court has said, dismissing the petition by 205 taluk nodal officers of the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited, a company under the Housing Department of Karnataka.
In November 2015, the Corporation issued relieving letters to the existing nodal officers and a new order of contract. These were challenged by the officers who were relieved from service. Justice Raghvendra S Chauhan gave his judgement recently. The question answered by the judgement was whether the TNOs “can claim the right to be absorbed or regularised in the service of the corporation or not?”.
These TNOs were appointed on contractual basis for a period of two years from 2011. They continued in service for six years and approached the court when the corporation decided to review the works of TNOs and enter into a fresh contract by imposing fresh conditions. The existing TNOs were to be relieved before this process.
The RGRHC was established in 2000 as a public sector undertaking. Since the corporation was short on manpower, contractual workers were appointed at the taluk level. 242 TNOs were appointed in 2011. The contract was for two years and the appointment letters “made abundantly clear that the appointment does not provide any scope for permanent appointment.” The TNOs were paid an honorarium of Rs 10,500 per month and a travelling allowance of Rs 1,500. In 2013, their contract was extended by one year and extended till June, 2014. The TNOs gave a representation to the government in August, 2014 requesting that their services be regularised. The government only extended their contract till December 2014. After a further extension, the contract was extended till April 1, 2015. After this, the Corporation decided to review the work of the TNOs and appoint new TNOs in all taluks, prompting the petition before the HC.
Dismissing the petition, the HC said, “From day one, they were very well aware of the fact that their appointment was a temporary one; with the efflux of time, the appointment would come to an end. Merely because their services were continued for a further period of six years, would not, and does not, change the nature of their appointment from temporary appointment to quasi-permanent one. Such continuation neither creates a legitimate expectation of being absorbed or regularised by the government, nor bestows equity in their favour.”