Regularisation of contractual employees: Haryana does a flip-flop,rescinds order to withhold benefits
The Khattar government came under fire from the opposition for not being able to defend the case in the high court. As a face saver, the BJP regime announced that it would file an appeal in the Supreme Court.
Fearing a backlash, the Manohar Lal Khattar government on Sunday made a flip flop by rescinding an order issued two days ago to withhold certain benefits of contractual employees whose services were regularised by the previous Congress government but set aside by the Punjab and Haryana high court on May 31.
The benefits included child education allowance, child care leave, loans, annual increment, promotions and leave travel concession.
Quashing the regularisation policies for Class 2, 3 and 4 contractual employees, a poll-centric decision of Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government months ahead of 2014 assembly polls, the HC had ordered that any benefit already granted to an employee shall be withdrawn.
Government under fire for not ably defending case in high court
The Khattar government came under fire from the opposition for not being able to defend the case in the high court. As a face saver, the BJP regime announced that it would file an appeal in the Supreme Court. The appeal is yet to be filed. Under pressure from the Sarv Karamchari Sangh, the state government is also contemplating bringing a Bill in the state assembly to regularise the services of these employees.
On July 27, the chief secretary’s office issued an order that other benefits like child education allowance, child care leave, loans, annual increment, promotion and leave travel concession of the contractual employees may be withheld in view of the high court orders.
However, the July 27 order was withdrawn on Sunday. No reason was ascribed while withdrawing the July 27 orders.
“It seems that the state government, already under fire from the employees unions and the opposition for not being able to protect the formers’ interests, did not want to risk another bout of criticism,’’ said an official familiar with the development.
Another official, however, clarified that the July 27 order to withhold the benefits was issued since the higher education department had sought an advice on the issue. Later, it was withdrawn since a committee headed by the chief secretary is looking into the issue.
Defective regularisation, violative of SC orders
Staring at an electoral defeat after a nine-year run, the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government had in May 2014 blatantly ignored the advice of its law secretary and overlooked all legal aspects to toss yet another poll-centric offering of regularising the services of contractual and ad hoc employees
The move was clearly aimed at appeasing the employees, a major vote bank, ahead of the October 2014 assembly polls.
The council of ministers completely disregarded the settled legal position on the matter and even closed its eyes to the advice of law department while approving amendments in the regularisation policy for group B, C and D employees (Classes 2, 3 and 4). Hindustan Times had reported the flawed decision on May 30, 2014.
The Hooda cabinet’s decision to regularise the services of ad hoc Group B employees, whose services could not regularised under a 1996 policy, was defective as the state government had withdrawn this policy in 1997 in view of the Supreme Court orders.
The SC had in October 1997 (P Ravindran v/s UT of Pondicherry’ case) had deprecated the practice of regularisation of services of ad hoc employees as a substitute for the appointees recommended by the public service commission.