Landmark Judgment on Regularization of Daily Wagers

The Court’s legal analysis and directives in the case regarding the regularization of daily-wage workers at agricultural research centers have far-reaching implications. The judgment outlines a phased approach to the regularization process, emphasizing seniority-cum-suitability and physical fitness. Discover how the Court’s decision sets a precedent for similar cases and upholds the rights of eligible workers to receive proper regularization.

Facts

  • Daily-wage workers working in various capacities at agricultural research centers sought regularization of their services.
  • Industrial Tribunal directed the appellant university to regularize the services of daily wagers who completed 10 years of service by 01.01.1993.
  • Respondents filed writ petitions in the High Court seeking regularization as per the approved scheme by the State of Gujarat.
  • Petitioners contended that they were eligible for absorption in Class IV posts as per the scheme.
  • Despite colleagues benefiting from regularization, the respondents were denied the same.
  • The High Court partly allowed the writ petition filed by the appellant university against the judgment of the industrial tribunal.
  • The daily-wage employees shall be regularized in a phased manner based on seniority-cum-suitability and physical fitness.
  • Daily wagers who have completed 10 years of continuous service with a minimum of 240 days in each calendar year but could not be regularized shall be treated as monthly rated employees.
  • Regularization can be made phase wise, creating posts to absorb maximum workers who completed 10 years as of a specific date.
  • A scheme for regularization of daily-rated laborers was framed and approved subject to modifications suggested by the court.
  • All daily wagers who completed 10 years or more by a specific date shall be regularized as regular employees with certain conditions.
  • Financial stringency is not a ground to deny regularization according to the scheme.
  • The argument that all daily wagers cannot be regularized due to financial constraints was rejected.
  • The State Government passed a resolution creating posts for absorption of daily wagers in the university.
  • One of the conditions for absorption is that daily-rated wagers must possess the prescribed qualifications at the time of appointment.
  • The first phase of absorption was directed to be completed within 3 months, with the scheme to be implemented expeditiously.

Also Read: Legal Analysis on Seniority Fixation in Contempt Petitions

Issue

  • Whether the daily wagers/respondents are entitled to regularization of their services.

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Arguments

  • Respondents are not entitled for regularization as there are no sanctioned posts available.
  • Judgment of this Court dated 18.01.2001 in Gujarat Agricultural University does not survive after the judgment of this Court in Umadevi.
  • Regularization as a one-time measure can only be for those irregularly appointed and worked for 10 years or more in duly sanctioned posts.
  • Respondents are covered by the judgment of this Court in Gujarat Agricultural University.
  • Scheme of the State of Gujarat directed regularization of daily wagers phase-wise.
  • Right to be regularized in accordance with the scheme continues till all eligible daily-wagers are absorbed.
  • Benefits given to the respondents by the judgment of the High Court will not be withdrawn.

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Analysis

  • The submissions made on behalf of the university impressed the Court
  • The judgment in Umadevi’s case overruled the judgment in Gujarat Agricultural University
  • The judgment in Gujarat Agricultural University has become final and binding on the university
  • The obligation on the university to implement the scheme by regularizing eligible daily wagers continued
  • Any judgment contrary to the principles settled in Umadevi shall not be precedent
  • Persons similarly situated to the respondents were absorbed by regularization on 17.10.2011
  • The university demonstrated a discriminatory approach in conferring regularization benefits
  • The regularization of the respondents’ services shall not be disturbed
  • Creation of additional posts for absorption staggered phase-wise
  • The observation in Umadevi’s case does not absolve the university from complying with the directions of the Court in the Gujarat Agricultural University case
  • 890 posts were created for daily wagers who were absorbed, but further posts have not been created for remaining daily wagers seeking regularization
  • The creation of 890 posts is the first stage of implementing the Court’s directions in Gujarat Agricultural University case
  • There is no error in the Judgment of the High Court warranting interference by this Court.
  • Eligible daily wagers are eagerly awaiting regularization as per the judgment in Gujarat Agricultural University‚Äôs case.
  • The right of the respondents for regularization has been correctly recognized by the High Court.

Decision

  • The appeals are dismissed
  • The reasons for dismissing the appeals have been provided

Case Title: VICE CHANCELLOR ANAND AGRICULTURE UNIVERSITY Vs. KANUBHAI NANUBHAI VAGHELA (2021 INSC 358)

Case Number: C.A. No.-004443-004443 / 2021

Click here to read/download original judgement

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