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HC quashes Hooda regime’s 4 job regularisation policies

The policies were framed by the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government to regularise more than 20,000 employees ahead of the state assembly elections in 2014

india Updated: May 31, 2018 20:08 IST
Surender Sharma
Surender Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
high court,Punjab and Haryana high court,Bhupinder Singh Hooda
Bhupinder Singh Hooda(HT Photo)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday set aside the previous Haryana government’s policies to regularise the services of contractual employees. The policies were framed by the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government to regularise more than 20,000 employees ahead of the state assembly elections in 2014.

The high court has given six months to the government to make regular appointments against these posts and to enable the affected employees to find jobs.

“Under no circumstances these employees will continue after six months, reads the HC order. It also ordered that the affected employees be given relaxation in age for the period they worked with the state in the next selection process but only once.

“The exercise for framing the aforesaid four policies in June and July 2014 was to please voters as the assembly elections were due in October. For gaining personal benefits, the bosses were not concerned about any order or judgment of the court, hence they dared to violate the same,” the HC bench of justice Rajesh Bindal and justice Anil Kshetarpal observed quashing all four policies.

Wide the first policy, group ‘B’ employees who had worked for not less than three years were regularised on May 28, 2014. In the second policy on June 18, 2014, group ‘C’ and group ‘D’ employees with minimum of three years service were regularised. The government came out with third policy on July 7, 2014, regularising services of group ‘B’ employees with 10 years of service up to December 31, 2018. Same was done in fourth policy wide which group ‘C’ and ‘D’ employees completing 10 years of service on December 31, 2018, were regularised.

These policies were challenged in August 2014 by many job aspirants alleging that the government was resorting to backdoor appointments. The HC in 2016 made it clear that the appointments done by the previous government would be subject to the final outcome of these petitions.

The Manohar Lal Khattar government had defended these appointments in the court.

The HC observed that the constitutional scheme and the judgment of the Supreme Court were brushed aside for political gains even as the apex court had deprecated such an exercise by the state in 2011. “The conduct of the state is evident from the clauses added in various policies,” the court said, referring to such policies of 1999, 2003, 2006 and 2007 and 2011 in which successive governments had said that the exercise was “one time measure”. A clause in 2003 policy states that if any such appointment is made, the officers responsible will be liable for disciplinary action. But no action has been taken so far against anyone. “How the term ‘one time measure’ is understood by the government is a mystery as this is being used ever since the policies are being framed but every time the state comes out with a new policy again. The illegality is continuing in perpetuity,” the HC observed.

The court also deprecated the role of senior officials and said they are expected oppose such move instead of being a party to it “to please their political bosses”.

First Published: May 31, 2018 20:07 IST