The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday set aside the “employee regularisation policy” whereby the previous state government had regularised the services of more than 20,000 contractual employees. Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in Haryana had issued three notifications on June 16, 18 and July 7 in 2014, three months before the Assembly polls, and regularised contractual and ad-hoc employees. In October 2014, Assembly polls were held and BJP formed the government with absolute majority.
The division bench of the High Court, comprising Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Anil Kshetarpal, struck down all three notifications on Thursday and said that no such employee shall be allowed to work after six months.
In its verdict, the High Court said, “As there are thousands of employees who had been appointed on ad-hoc/contract/work-charged/daily wages, to take care of the work being carried out by them in different departments, we direct that they be allowed to continue for a period of six months, during which the state shall ensure that regular posts, wherever required, are advertised and the process of selection is completed. Under no circumstances, any ad-hoc/contract/work-charged/daily wages employees shall be allowed to continue thereafter.”
The state government now says that it will challenge the verdict in Supreme Court. The government also started compiling details of beneficiaries as the regularisation exercise was done in many departments. On Thursday evening, a communication, seeking details of all such employees, was sent by the office of Chief Secretary D S Dhesi to all the HoDs, Commissioners of the five divisions Ambala, Hisar, Rohtak, Gurugram, Karnal and Faridabad, all the Deputy Commissioners, Registrars of Universities and Chief Administrators and Managing Directors of all Boards/Corporations and Public Sector Undertakings in Haryana.
The officers were directed to compile and send the information of all such employees regularised in Group B, C & D posts against the three policies, by mail, fax or through special messenger by Friday.
In its verdict, the High Court also showed sympathy with the employees who stand to lose their jobs now. The court directed state government to give age-relaxation to these employees in case they go through a process of next selection.
“This Court cannot lose sight of the fact that even the employees to some extent may not be said to be at fault. They are swayed by the promises made to them or the assurances given, which may not be legally tenable. To take care of the fact that all such employees, who had been appointed on ad-hoc/contract/work-charged/daily wages may not suffer on account of they being over-age, it is directed that all such employees be given relaxation in age to the extent of the period they have worked continuously on ad-hoc/contract/work-charged/daily wage basis in the next process of selection, which is to be carried out in terms of the directions given by this court. The aforesaid relaxation shall be one time measure and not in any subsequent selection,” the High Court said in the order.