Friday, February 3, 2023

Allahabad High Court stays filling of Group C posts in universities associated with the UP SSSC

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The Allahabad High Court has granted interim stay on the filling of Group ‘C’ posts of the University from the Commission in a matter of the state government’s order to fill up Group ‘C’ posts in universities with the U.P. Subordinate Services Selection Commission.

A Single Bench of Justice Abdul Moin passed this order on Monday, while hearing a petition filed by Rakesh Kumar Gupta and Ors.

Under challenge is the letter dated November 11, 2020 written by the University to the Commission in terms of an order dated November 9, 2020 issued by the State Government for issuing a notification for filling in Group ‘C’ posts through the Commission.

The petitioner prayed for quashing of the order dated November 9, 2020 issued by the State Government.

It further sought regularisation of services of the petitioners, who are said to be working on Group ‘C’ posts having been appointed by the University between 2003 to 2006.

The Counsel for the petitioners argued that they are working on contractual basis and getting a fixed amount in a self-financed scheme having been appointed between 2003-2006. So far as the persons who were similarly circumstanced like the petitioners but were appointed prior to cut off date – December 31, 2001, the state government had taken a decision on January 28, 2020. The writ petition, whereby it was indicated that with respect to such employees who are working on daily wage basis or contract basis, the University was competent to regularise their services.

Subsequently the University, in its meeting dated March 29, 2019, of other proposals decided with respect to one Ashok Kumar Yadav, who was working on the post of CareTaker, for his regularisation. It was also decided that with respect to the persons similarly circumstanced like Ashok Kumar Yadav, they should also be regularised.

The said meeting was followed by another meeting dated August 14, 2019, to the writ petition whereby, while considering the earlier proposal of the meeting dated March 29, 2019 it was resolved by the University that the persons who have been working in the self financed scheme and have been appointed up to December 31, 2007 they should be considered for regularization.

It is contended that the Petitioners were in sanguine belief that now the case of the petitioners for regularization would be considered but the respondent University proceeded to issue impugned letter dated November 11, 2020, to the writ petition, whereby various posts including the posts held by the petitioners have been requested to the Commission to be filled in.

Placing reliance on the order issued by the State Government dated January 18, 2020 along with resolutions of the University dated March 29, 2019 and August 14, 2019, Counsel for the Petitioners contended that once a set of persons similarly circumstanced like the Petitioners has already been regularized though they were appointed prior to December 31, 2001 consequently the respondents cannot be allowed to segregate and differentiate between the employees and to now fill in the posts, as held by the Petitioners, through the Commission.

Further ground is that considering the provisions of U.P. Subordinate Service Selection Commission Act, 2014, as per statement of object and reasons, the said Act would only apply to certain posts available in the administrative department of the State Government and the University being an autonomous body, the said posts cannot be allowed to be filled in through the Commission.

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Earlier, March 23, the court observed that the questions to be considered is as to how Group C posts under a university which has been established in accordance with the U.P. State Universities Act, 1973 would fall within the purview of the U.P. Subordinate Services Selection Commission Act, 2014, considering the objects and reasons for which the Act was enacted as also Section 2 thereof according to which the provisions of the Act shall apply in relation to direct recruitment to all Group C posts below Group B including posts in the Civil Secretariat and also to all Group C posts in a Board or Corporation or any other statutory body established by or controlled by the State Government; whether University is a statutory body established by or controlled by the State Government, as only then, under Section 2 of the Act, 2014, the State Government may, by a notification, withdraw from or add any post in purview of the Commission; whether, assuming that this could be done by the State Government; could it be done by a government order or by a notification.

Additional Chief Standing Counsel, on the basis of instructions dated August 18, 2021 sent by the Special Secretary, Higher Education, Government of U.P., contends that in terms of Section 2 of 2014 Act, the State Government is empowered to withdraw from or add any post in the purview of the Commission and thus the requisition for filling in the posts as was sent by the University and as exist in the University on which the petitioners are working, have been added and therefore 2014 Act would be applicable and hence there is nothing wrong in the University proceeding to send a requisition to the Commission in terms of the order of State Government dated November 09, 2020 and consequently the Commission would now proceed further.

It is also contended that the posts in the University fall within the ambit of posts as indicated in the statement of objects and reasons of 2014 Act.

Prashant Kumar Tripathi, Counsel for the University, argued that the impugned letter dated November 11, 2020 has been sent in pursuance to the order of the State Government dated November 09, 2020 which had required the Universities to send a request for filling in the posts through the Commission.

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“Jogendra Nath Verma, Counsel for the Commission, states that in pursuance to the impugned letter the Commission has not proceeded further and no advertisement has been issued as of date. Having heard Counsel for the parties and having perused the records, what is prima facie apparent is that a set of employees who were working in the University and who had been appointed prior to December 31, 2001 on contract basis, have been regularized and their regularization has been held to be within the competence of the University as comes out from perusal of the order dated January 18, 2020 issued by the State Government.

For the set of employees before this Court i.e. those who were appointed between 2003-2006 a requisition has been sent by the University requiring the Commission to advertise the said posts’, the Court observed.

The Court held that,

Keeping in view the law laid down by the Apex Court in the case of Sardari Lal (supra) wherein the Court has held that the University is an autonomous body and therefore the State Government will not be entitled to interfere with the internal administration of the University notwithstanding the fact that the State Government is the funding body until and unless the University Statutes provide for the same or there is any Act of legislation conferring that power on the State Government, it cannot be said prima facie that the State Government would have any control over the posts as exist in the University.

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Considering the provision to Section 2 of 2014 Act, it is not the case of the respondents that any notification has been issued with respect to adding any posts within the purview of the Commission so far as the posts over which the petitioners are working is concerned.

“Considering the aforesaid, prima facie a case for interference is made out. As such, it is provided that till the next date of listing, the Commission shall not proceed to issue any advertisement for filling in Group ‘C’ posts over which the petitioners are working in the respondent University.

Respondents may file counter affidavit within four weeks to which the petitioners may file rejoinder affidavit within next two weeks”, the Court ordered.

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