job interview, work, job-5577755.jpg

-Report by Arunima Jain

The Mumbai High Court on Thursday upheld the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal’s judgement that is related to the reinstatement and absorption in service of a wrongly terminated woman for the post of lecturer. The court has supported the judgement in the case of Sachin Dawale v. The State of Maharashtra while stating that ‘adherence to the rule of equality in public employment is a fundamental feature of our Constitution, and because the rule of law is at the heart of our Constitution, a Court would be barred from upholding a violation of Article 14 or ordering the disregard of the need to comply with the requirements of Article 14 read with Article 16 of the Constitution. Moreover, unless the appointment of a government servant is made in accordance with the relevant rules and following proper competition among qualified candidates, the appointee will not have any rights. It is not open to the court to prevent regular recruitment in the case of temporary employees whose period of employment has expired or ad hoc employees who, by definition, do not have any rights.’

FACTS

In the matter at hand, the State had imposed a ban on the recruitment of various departments in the educational sector. Upon upliftment of the ban, through a policy decision in July 2002, the respondent was instituted as a Lecturer on a contract basis for a period of two years or till

the availability of an MPSC-selected candidate, whichever was earlier. By subsequent government policies and resolutions after the completion of the two years of the contractual agreement, the respondent was reinstated as a Lecturer in a different university till October 2012. In lieu of an administrative ground against vacancy generated by contract lecturer transfer, the respondent’s employment was terminated in September 2012 before the end of her tenure. After the passing of the judgement in the case of Sachin Dawale v. The State of Maharashtra, the respondent filed an application challenging her termination before the Tribunal. The Tribunal directed reinstatement and absorption back into the service of the respondent as a Lecturer in the Government Polytechnic. The State Government has filed this case in order to challenge the Tribunal’s judgement and order.

CONTENTIONS

Petitioner

The petitioner’s learned counsel has submitted before the High Court that the Tribunal should not have entertained the original application owing to the fact that the respondent had accepted the termination of her services as a lecturer without a predicament, as and when it occurred. Moreover, the original application that challenged the termination was sought after 4 years of the respondent being relieved of her duties. The counsel for the respondent further stated that during the initial contract, it was made clear to the respondent that according to the law at the time, the contractual agreement existed till the specified date or till the availability of an MPSC-selected candidate. Since the termination was in lieu of the selection of an MPSC-selected candidate, the respondent was rightly relieved of her duties. Therefore, according to the petitioner’s counsel, the current contentions of the respondent are absurd and cannot be relied upon.

Respondent

Contrary to the petitioner’s counsel, the respondent’s learned counsel submits that all contractual lecturers instituted in service along with the respondent have been regularized in their jobs, with just the exception of the respondent. On top of that, the candidate employed in replacement of the respondent was not an MPSC-selected candidate, but a transferee to the Government Polytechnic. In addition, it is submitted that the job vacancy created through the transfer did not require the termination of the respondent’s post. As far as the limitation act condones the delay in filing the Original Application, the respondent’s counsel contends that the Court shall be awry in interfering with the interpretation of the Tribunal in the same regard.

JUDGEMENT

Upon giving due regard to the facts and law in the above-mentioned case, it is contended by the hon’ble court that this was a proper instance in which the Tribunal should have excused the delay in filing the application and the appellants should have been awarded relief in the same terms as the Full Bench of the Tribunal. As a result, the appeal is granted, the contested Tribunal judgement is reversed, the delay in filing the order is excused, and the application is granted. The Tribunal made no mistakes in overturning the order freeing the respondent from service or directing her regularisation.

Because of the unique facts and circumstances of the current case, the bench has also mentioned that it is inclined to maintain the Tribunal’s ruling directing the Respondent’s regularisation. As a result, no errors were detected in the Tribunal’s judgement and order. It was further directed to the petitioner to comply with the Tribunal’s instructions. The writ petition filed was thereby dismissed.

READ FULL JUDGEMENT: https://bit.ly/40T1C1H

Leave a Reply

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