Ad hoc service put in by a government employee cannot be clubbed with regular service for the purpose of seniority. However, it may be counted for the purpose of pensionary benefits. This judgment has come from the Punjab and Haryana high court, clearing the confusion of a large number of government employees who had joined service on an ad hoc basis and were later regularised.
The court headed by justice Paramjeet Singh gave the judgment in a case in which the erstwhile Punjab State Electricity Board had moved the high court in a civil revision petition, seeking the setting aside of an order passed by the executing court. The latter had directed the board to count the ad hoc service rendered by upper-division clerk Surinder Kumar for the purpose of seniority, which now the high court has found to be perverse and erroneous.
Surinder Kumar was appointed by the board at its executive engineer's office in Ahmedgarh (Sangrur district) on an ad hoc basis on October 12, 1976. His services were regularised on November 15, 1977. The board, vide its order dated June 23, 2005, ordered regularisation of Kumar's ad hoc service from October 12, 1976, to November 15, 1977, as well. But this order was withdrawn by the board on January 24, 2006.
Surinder Kumar had challenged the board's order in the court of law on the ground that once the board had regularised his service, it could not be withdrawn later and his ad hoc service should be counted towards seniority. Considering his arguments, the executing court had passed the order in Kumar's favour.
However, the appellate court of additional civil judge (senior division), Patiala, later ordered the board to consider the ad hoc service rendered by Kumar according to rules within three months.
The board, however, approached the high court for clarification on the issue. The board's counsel also made it clear that there were clear-cut judgments of the apex court on the issue that ad hoc service cannot be counted for seniority and one such judgment was passed in the case "State of Haryana and others vs Vijay Singh and others".