NO REGULARISATION OF SERVICES IF ILLEGALLY RECRUITED: SUPREME COURT

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The Supreme Court has held that those inducted without following due process of recruitment have no right to claim regularisation of services.

A bench comprising Justices V S Sirpurkar and Mukundakam Sharma, while allowing the appeal of Karnataka, noted,’As it is clear that adherence to the rule of equality in public employment is a basic feature of our Constitution and since the rule of law is the core of our Constitution, a court would certainly be disabled from passing an order upholding a violation of Article 14 or in ordering the overlooking of the need to comply with the requirements of Article 14 (read with Article 16) of the Constitution.

Therefore, consistent with the scheme for public employment, this court while laying down the law, has necessarily to hold that unless the appointment is in terms of the relevant rules and after a proper competition among qualified persons, the same would not confer any right on the appointee.’ Justice Sharma, while writing nine-page judgement for the bench, also relied on the three judge-bench judgement of the apex court and noted, ‘Appointments made in violation of the Employment Exchanges (compulsory notification of vacancies) Act 1959 with impunity shall encourage the political set up and bureaucracy to violate the soul of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

Those who could pull strings in the power corridors at the higher and lower levels managed to get the big slice of public employment by trampling over the rights of other eligible and more meritorious persons registered with the employment exchanges.

A huge illegal employment market developed in different parts of the country and rampant corruption afflicted the whole system.’ The apex court set aside the judgements of Karnataka High Court and Karnataka Administrative Tribunal which directed the state government to consider the cases of the respondents (daily wagers in plantation, watchman, wireless operators or helpers) for regularisation of their service on merits.

The apex court, however, granted liberty to the respondents to approach the appropriate forum under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, if such a remedy and right is available to them.

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