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Daily wager cannot claim regularisation when initial appointment not done by competent authority: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has ruled that a daily-rated employee cannot claim regularisation of employment when his initial appointment was not done by a competent authority and a sanctioned post did not exist on which such an employee was working.

The Bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia on Wednesday made these observations, while dismissing a petition challenging the refusal of the June 27, 2019 order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court to grant the benefit of regularisation to the appellant-employee.

The plea contended that in 1980, he was engaged as a supervisor on a daily rated basis, under a project of the State Water Resources Department. He had sought regularisation to the post of supervisor/ time keeper, but the minimum qualification for the said post at that time was matriculation with mathematics, which the appellant did not possess.

Later, the government relaxed this requirement of qualification and the appellant again sought regularisation since he was qualified for the post and had been working on a daily wage basis for a long period of time.

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However, his claim was again rejected for the reasons that though the minimum qualifications of matriculation with mathematics would not come in the way for his regularisation, but the fact remained that the appellant was never appointed against any post.

The petitioner said the authority concerned had contended that the appointment of the appellant was never made by a competent authority and there were no posts available when the appellant had sought regularisation.

The daily wager claimed that he had set his claim for regularisation on the fact that persons who were junior to him as daily wagers were regularised in 1990 or even before, but he was not regularised.

The Single-Judge of the High Court allowed the claim and gave directions for regularisation of the appellant from the date on which his juniors were regularised.

However, the Division Bench set aside the order of the Single Judge, after which the petitioner moved the top court of the country.

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The Apex Court said that as per its decision in Secretary, the State of Karnataka vs Uma Devi and Others (2006), there were two pre-conditions to be fulfilled in order to claim regularisation of employment. These were:

–  initial appointment must be done by the competent authority; and

– there must be a sanctioned post on which the daily rated employee must be working.

The Bench observed that both the above conditions were missing as far as the appellant was concerned. Therefore, the rejection of his regularisation request was correct on part of the authority and the High Court, it added.

(Case title: Vibhuti Shankar Pandey vs State of Madhya Pradesh and Others)

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