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Gujarat State Land vs Jairaj N. Zala &

High Court Of Gujarat|26 September, 2013
(PER : HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.G.URAIZEE) This LPA is filed challenging the judgment dated 20/9/2004, passed by the learned Single Judge in SCA no. 8575/1989.
We have heard Mr. H.S.Munshaw, learned counsel, for the appellants, Mr. P.H.Pathak, learned counsel, appearing for respondent no. 1 and Ms. Monali Bhatt, learned AGP, for respondent no. 2.
Respondent no. 1 was working in the office of the Appellant from 20/9/1982 as a Watchman on daily wages. In the year 1989, one Peon proceeded on sick leave. As a result, respondent no. 1 was assigned the work of Peon. The respondent was performing the duty for twelve hours per day, but no overtime wages were paid to him nor regular salary and allowance as were paid to permanent Watchmen and Peon was paid to respondent no. 1. Therefore, he filed SCA no. 8575/89 for the following reliefs:
9. In the abovementioned facts and circumstances of he case the petitioner pray:
(A) That your Lordships be pleased to issue an order writ in the nature of mandamus and or certiorary or any other appropriate writs order or direction, directing the respondents to regularise the services of the petitioner since the initial date of appointment and grant all consequential benefits to the petitioner with 12% interest.
(B) Be pleased to direct the respondents to pay the arrears of wages etc. to the petitioner considering him as a regular employee of the respondent department since initial date of appointment.
(C) Be pleased to declare the non-compliance by the respondent of the provisions of Minimum Wages Act as forced Labour and direct to pay the arrears of overtime etc. in accordance with the provisions of Minimum Wages act to the petitioner with 12% interest.
(D) Be pleased to declare the action on the part of the respondent to continue the petitioner as daily wage employee for about 7 years and to deprive him of the benefits and status of regular employee and to pay different scale of waves to the similarly situated employees as unfair labour practice under the provisions of I.D.Act 1947.
(D)(1) Be pleased to declare that respondent no. 3 has failed to perform his duties and direct the Commissioner of Labour to take immediate actions for unfair labour practice against respondent No. 1 and 2.
(E) Pending admission and final disposal of this petition be pleased to restrain the respondents from terminating discharging and/or discontinuing the services of the petitioner and further direct to pay the petitioner to the minimum of the time scale of pay with all allowances payable to the regular Watchman/peon of the Corporation.
(F) Pending admission and final disposal of the petition be pleased to direct the respondent to extend the benefits of the Government notification dated 17/10/88 to the petitioner.
(G) Any other relief to which this Hon'ble Court deems fit and proper in interest of justice together with cost.
Learned Single Judge, by impugned judgement, has allowed the petition and directed the appellant Corporation to give benefits of regular employee w.e.f. 18/12/1989 to respondent no. 1 without any further liability to pay or to pay any further monetary benefits for a period during which petition was pending before this Court since about last fifteen years. The appellant corporation is aggrieved by the impugned judgement of learned single judge, which is challenged in this LPA.
It appears from the impugned judgment of learned Single Judge an identical petition being S.C.A. no. 2742/1988 was disposed of by this Court by order dated 3/3/2000. Therefore, learned Single Judge has passed the impugned order on the line of order passed in identical earlier petition.
It appears that the previous S.C.A. no. 2742/88 was also filed by one of the temporary employees of the appellant Corporation as it appears from the averment made in the writ petition, wherein it is averred that other two employees, who were working at Morbi with respondent Corporation approached this Honourable Court by filing SCA no. 2742/88 and this Honourable Court was pleased to direct the respondent Corporation to pay the time scale of pay etc. to the employees.
Considering the fact that respondent no. 1 is in the employment of the appellant corporation since last about twenty years. The learned Single Judge has observed as under:
4. The facts remains that the petitioner has been in continuous employment of the respondent since last about 20 years. The petitioner was appointed in the Directorate of Agriculture which was a part of the State Government service and since the schemes on which the petitioner was working was transferred to the Gujarat State Land Development Corporation, the petitioners also came to be transferred to the Corporation. Considering the fact that the petitioner has already put in 20 years of service and further considering the fact that the interim relief is also in operation since last 15 years, and that in the normal course 20 years service' would even entitle an employee to opt for voluntary retirement and get pensionary benefits, this Court is not inclined to disturb that position. This, of course, would not mean that the petitioner is required to be continued at the same place even if there may not be adequate work for them. The respondent Corporation has its offices and premises all over the State and since the petitioner is now to be treated as employee of the respondent Corporation in the regular time scale with effect from 18.12/1989, when this Court granted ad-interim relief in their favor, it will be open to the respondent Corporation to avail of the services of the petitioner at any place in the State of Gujarat.
When similarly situated employees are given benefit of regularization of service by this Court, the same treatment cannot be denied to the respondent no. 1. We are in complete agreement with the reasons of learned Single Judge. We do not find any illegality or infirmity with the findings and conclusion arrived at by learned Single Judge warranting interference in this LPA. The appeal lacks merits and is hereby dismissed. There shall be no costs.
(V.M.SAHAI, J.) (A.G.URAIZEE,J) *asma Page 5 of 5
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