The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed registrar cooperative societies to frame service rules for Mandi Gobindgarh Cooperative House Building Society Limited.
The direction came from the high court bench of justice Kuldip Singh on a bunch of petitions challenging recovery notices worth lakhs slapped on four employees.
The bench observed that in the absence of rules, a void has been created giving discretion to the authorities concerned to employ anybody and treat them at their whims and fancy.
The bench directed the registrar to frame rules for the method of recruitment, qualification, commencement of service, pay scale, seniority, probation, training, suspension, imposition of minor and major penalties, leave, resignation, security, etc for the society employees within three months.
The registrar’s office failed to act on the court’s 2005 direction to frame service rules. In 2011, joint registrar, cooperative societies, Patiala, on the representation of employees passed an order on retirement age of employees and fixed it at 60 years. Consequently, four employees, who were to retire at 58 continued to work till 60. But in March 2013, additional registrar, Fatehgarh Sahib, set aside the order passed by the joint registrar and directed the society to make recoveries from the employees. This forced the employees to move the HC.
The HC bench held that payments were made to employees for their services following a quasi judicial order of the joint registrar. The joint registrar was a competent authority as he passed the order after the registrar’s nod. Therefore, no recovery could be made from the employees for having served beyond the age of 58, the bench stated.