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Sympathy no criteria for labour cases

The apex court maintains temporary workers do not have a right to a post in the organisation they work for. Speak up

india Updated: Nov 19, 2006 14:48 IST

The Supreme Court has cautioned subordinate courts that "emotions and sympathies" should not be the criteria to decide cases involving the rights of casual workers.

Holding that temporary workers have no right to regular posts, a Bench comprising Justices SB Sinha and Maekandey Katju said, "The cases (of casual workers) have to be decided on legal principles and not on the basis of emotions and sympathies."

The Bench said the distinction between a temporary and a permanent employee was well-settled as the latter has a right to a post while former has no such right.

"It is only a permanent employee who has a right to continue in service till the age of superannuation (unless dismissed)," the Bench said.

Further, the court said there can be occasions when the state or its instrumentalities employ persons on temporary basis or daily wages in contigency but "this does not confer any right on such persons to continue in service or get regular pay".

The verdict was delivered on an appeal against the Uttranchal High Court order allowing some casual workers of state-owned Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd to continue in service till their superannuation.

The High Court had ordered the company to pay them wages like those of regular employees.

Setting aside the order, the apex court said this was a violation of settled legal principles and the courts cannot direct continuation in service of non-regular appointees.