Kar HC | Right to regularisation of person on purely contractual basis depends on express or implied terms of appointment

Karnataka High Court: P.B. Bajanthri J., dismissed the petition for regularisation of the service on the ground that statutory rule recognizing such right was not in their favor.

A petition was made to quash the endorsement issued to the petitioner and to seek respondent to regularize their services in the post of accounting consultant from their initial date of appointment and to extend the pay scale.

The facts of the case were that deputy commissioner recruited accounting consultant in the respective municipalities/corporation. The petitioner was appointed as Accounting Consultants but in a subsequent document, he was quoted as Accountant Consultants. The government notified the appointment of Accounting Consultant for one year and it was extendable to one more year to respective post in the local body. The petitioner was appointed for the said post in the year 2007 but in the year 2011 vide notification the post of accounting consultant was incorporated and method of recruitment was made 75% direct and 25% by promotion. A notification regarding enhancement of consolidation of payment was made, the petitioners made representation seeking regularization of their service, the only action for continuing of their service was made up to the year 2016. Among various notification, the notification relating to outsourcing of Accounting Consultant was made, but against which petitioner approached the court, the said petition was disposed of with a direction that petitioners would be given liberty of hearing by the concerned respondent before taking further action. The respondent pursuant to disposal of a writ issued the notices to all the petitioner informing them to be present in the office, but the same was rejected by the respondent. Thus the petition was made regarding the endorsement and regularization of their services in the cadre of an accountant.

M.S. Bhagwat, counsel for the petitioner contended that Petitioners initial appointments was in accordance with law even though it was on a contract basis. State Government issued absorption of the employees appointed under the scheme of Swarnajayanti Shahari Rozgaar Yojana in Urban Local Bodies under Rules, 2005. Petitioners are also similarly situated persons who were also entitled to regularization/absorption in the posts of Accounting Consultants in the respective Municipalities. Petitioners’ contract appointment was for a period of one year or till selection and appointment was done through KPSC and for any reason permanency would not be made. Pursuant to the selection posts, KPSC had forwarded the list of selected Accountant and it was under process. Therefore, the question of regularization of petitioners’ services was impermissible. Thus the petitioner’s grievances were rejected. It was submitted that the petitioner post was made after holding the due procedure except nature and appointment was contractual.

Sridhar N. Hegde, K.V. Narasimhan, Reuben Jacob, G. Gachinamath, counsels for the respondent supported the endorsement issued by the second respondent and contended that petitioners were not entitled to regularization. Since they were not appointed as Accountant but were appointed as Accounting Consultants. Petitioner’s nature of appointment was required to be taken into consideration for the purpose of regularization. Petitioners have failed to question the validity of the Clauses imposed in the order of appointment that their appointment was contractual and purely on a temporary basis at any rate appointment would not be made permanent.

The High Court thus opined that employment signifies fresh appointment to fill vacancies whereas the regularization in accordance with service regulation or in accordance with the statutory law. It was further said that Contractual appointment was for a specified period and not entitled to regularization. Grant of extension of tenure does not confer on status of the employee nor can he/she seek regularization of his/her services in absence of any statutory Rule recognizing such right in his/her favor. The right to regularization of a person on a purely contractual basis would depend on express or implied terms of the contract appointment. The Court through the judgment also communicated that State should avoid contract appointment for longer period. Further, resort for regular recruitment to each of the public post in accordance with the Rules of recruitment governing the post and to comply with the Constitutional provisions read with Constitution Bench decision in the case of State Of Karnataka v. Umadevi. [Preethi Bhandage v.  State of Karnataka, 2019 SCC OnLine Kar 685, decided on 28-06-2019]

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.