Libertatem Magazine

Benefits of Regularization of Service Is a Right Akin To Fundamental Right Guaranteed to the Workman: Himachal Pradesh High Court

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A petition was filed to grant the relief that the respondents be ordered to grant the work charge status to the applicants from the date they had completed eight years of services with all benefits incidental thereof. 


Petitioner no. 1 was working as a ‘beldar’ on a daily waged basis from 01.11.1997. According to him, he was entitled to get the work charge status from 01.01.2006 however, his services were regularised only on 05.01.2010. Petitioner no. 2 was also working as a ‘beldar’ on a daily waged basis which came into effect from 01.01.2000. He was entitled to the status from 01.01.2008 but his services were regularized on 06.10.2010. Both the petitioners were to be granted the work charge status after the completion of eight years of services. However, the services had been ordered to be regularised after the completion of 10 years. Aggrieved by the same, the present petition was filed before the Court. 

Arguments Before the Court

It was contended that the Petitioners had completed 240 days of their service in each calendar year. Therefore, their services were required to be regularized as per the policy that was prevalent as on the date of consideration of their cases for regularization.

The counsel for the Respondents contended that the present petition was clearly time-barred thus, it’s liable to be dismissed on the same ground alone. The claim of the petitioners was opposed by the respondent on the ground that the Himachal Pradesh High court held in Gauri Dutt v State of HP that a workman is entitled to work charge status after completion of 10 years of service. It was stated that initially a period of 10 years of daily waged service was envisaged and provided for granting work charge status/regularization in terms of the policy of the Government. 

Court’s Observation

The court found that the objection of the Respondents not to be sustainable at all because it had to be borne in mind that the petitioners were Class-IV workers or ‘beldars’ and it was a duty cast on the respondents to consider the cases of the petitioners for conferment of work charge status on completion of the required number of years as per the policy. The court stated that petitioners could only be denied the interest on the eligible benefits and not the benefits as such, which accrued on them as per the policy, the department was bound to confer the status, subject to the workman satisfying the required conditions. 

Court’s Decision

The court relied on the judgment in Rakesh Kumar v. the State of HP where it was stated that the schemes announced by the Government clearly provided that the department concerned should consider the workmen concerned for bringing them on the work-charged category. There is an obligation cast on the department to consider the cases of the daily waged workmen for conferment of the work-charged status, being on a work-charged establishment, on completion of the required number of years in terms of the policy. The Court stated the plea of delay should not come in the way of granting relief to the workman, more particularly, when the Court is of the opinion that it is the inaction of the respondents that have formed the basis of such delay. Based on the contentions and the judgements relied upon, the court found merit in the present petition and allowed the same. The respondents were directed to grant the work charge status to the petitioners on completion of 8 years of services with all consequential benefits including seniority etc. 

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