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R. Venkatesh & Others v/s The Secretary to Government (Industries/P.D.L), Puducherry & Others

    W.A. No. 231 of 2018

    Decided On, 19 July 2018

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K.K. SASIDHARAN & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. SUBRAMANIAN

    For the Appellants: V. Srimathi for M/s. V. Raghavachari, Advocates. For the Respondents: R1, Nambiselvan, Government Advocate, R2 & R3, T.P. Manoharan, Senior Counsel for M/s. T.M. Naveen, Advocate.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: Appeal filed against the order passed by this Court dated 17.11.2017 passed in W.P.No.6024 of 2012.)

R. Subramanian, J.

1. The challenge in this intra court appeal is to the order of the learned single judge dated 17-11-2017 made in W.P.No: 6024 of 2012 in and by which the Learned Single Judge dismissed the writ petition filed by the appellants seeking issuance of a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to regularise the services of the petitioners as provided in the minutes of the second respondent dated 28/06/2010 with all consequential and service benefits.

The brief facts that led to the filing of the writ petition are as follows:

2. The petitioners who were appointed as daily wage employees in the second respondent company from

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the year 2009 onwards claim that they have been continuing in service till the date of filing of the writ petition in 2012. According to them even though the second respondent company has passed several resolutions seeking to regularise the services of the daily rated workers the Government of Puducherry has not taken any action on the resolutions passed by the second respondent company. It is the further case of the petitioners that on 28/06/2010 that the board of the second respondent company had passed a resolution to recruit additional members on daily rated basis in view of the expansion programme undertaken by the company. The appellants/ petitioners would contend that since they had worked as daily rated employees for more than three years they are entitled to regularisation of their services.

3. The writ petition was opposed by the second respondent company contending that all these daily rated employees were not recruited by following any procedure for recruitment. It is also the further contention of the second respondent company that the appellants were engaged to assist the then members of the Legislative Assembly on coterminous basis and their services got terminated, automatically, on the expiry of the tenure of office of those MLAs in May 2011 itself. Therefore according to the second respondent the appellants have no right to seek regularisation in any of the sanctioned permanent posts. The second respondent would further contend that in view of the Judgment of the Honourable Supreme Court in State of Karnataka -Vs- Umadevi and others the appellants are not entitled to seek regularisation since their initial recruitment was not made after following any selection process.

4. The learned single judge who heard the writ petition dismissed the same having concluded that the appellants were not recruited through a transparent selection process and as such they are backdoor entrants. Therefore according to the learned single judge in view of the pronouncements of the Honourable Supreme Court in State of Karnataka and others-versus-Uma Devi reported in (2006 (4) SCC 1) and in Chief Executive Officer, Pondicherry Kadhi and Village industries board and another-Vs-K. Aroquia Radja and others reported in (2013 (3) SCC 780) the appellants are not entitled to claim regularisation of their services. Aggrieved the appellants come forward with the above appeal.

5. We have heard Mrs. V. Srimathi learned counsel appearing for the appellant, Mr.Namiselvan, learned Government Advocate appearing for the 1st respondent and Mr.T.P. Manoharan learned senior counsel appearing for Mr.T.M. Naveen for the respondents 2 & 3.

6. Mrs.V. Srimathi learned counsel appearing for the appellant would vehemently contend that the second respondent company has been passing various resolutions for appointing daily wage workers and has been recommending their regularisation. Therefore the recruitments so made were need-based and there are vacancies available and hence there would be no difficulty in regularising the services of these petitioners/appellants.

7. On the other hand Mr. T. P. Manoharan Learned senior counsel appearing for the second respondent would contend that the appellants were appointed in the year 2010 at the instance of the then MLAs and were assigned the duty of assisting the said members of the Legislative Assembly during the said period. Their appointments were co-terminous with that the members of the Legislative Assembly. Inasmuch as the period of the elected representatives came to an end in 2011 these petitioners/appellants cannot seek regularisation.

8. We have considered the rival submissions. This case is another example of the prevalence of backdoor appointments made by the powers that be in the Union Territory. The second respondent company has produced the minutes of the board meeting dated 28-6-2010 wherein a resolution has been passed by the board of the second respondent company which reads as follows:

' Resolved that the arrangement of making payment to the 20 personnel being CLR assistance to the MLAs @ the daily rate of Rs. 175/-(Rs. One hundred seventy five only) by the company as requested by the Honourable Minister for industries and Health be and is hereby considered and approved

9. It is not known as to how a government company can pass such a resolution to provide daily rated employees for the assistance of MLAs and pay salaries to them. A list of 20 persons titled as MLA s list has also been produced. The names of appellants six and seven figure in the said list of 20 persons. Apart from the said list a certificate said to have been issued by a Member of the Legislative Assembly has been produced and the said document certifies that about 14 persons worked in his office during the months of October, November and December 2010. The said list contains the names of appellants 1 to 5, 8 and 9. It is therefore clear that the appellants had actually been working in the offices of the members of the Legislative Assembly though they were paid daily wages by the second respondent company. To say the least this is preposterous. If the elected representatives are entitled to paid assistants they can engage persons according to their choice and such persons may be paid salary or wages as the case may be. We do not think that it is the job of the second respondent company to pay persons who are employed by the members of the legislative assembly for their personal assistance. The learned senior counsel appearing for the said second respondent is unable to justify the action of the board in passing a resolution resolving to pay the personnel who were assisting the members of the Legislative Assembly. We do not propose to examine the correctness of the said resolution dated 28-6-2010 since the same is not in issue before us. At the same time we are unable to resist the conclusion that all is not well with the management of the second respondent company.

10. Coming claim to regularisation of these nine appellants it is clear that all these appellants had worked as assistants in the houses or offices of the members of the Legislative Assembly during the period 2010-2011. Therefore their claim that they have been working in the second respondent company as daily rated employees is proved to be false. Even otherwise these appellants having been recruited by the then members of the Legislative Assembly as their personal assistants cannot claim regularisation of their services in the second respondent company merely because the second respondent company was forced to pay the wages for these posts. Looking at from any angle the appellants are not entitled to regularisation of their services and we concur with the conclusions of the learned single judge.

11. For the foregoing reasons we do not see any reason to interfere with the judgment of the learned single judge and the intra court appeal stands dismissed. However considering the fact that the appellants are also poor workmen who had been employed by the members of the Legislative Assembly on a false promise of regularisation we make no order as to costs.
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