On 10th November 2020, a Single JudgeBench consisting of Hon’ble Mr Justice Vivek Singh Thakur heard the case of Santosh Kumari v. State of Himachal Pradesh& others.
The Petitioner approached the Court seeking direction to the Respondents to consider the conversion of her services from EGS Instructor to Gramin Vidya Upasak w.e.f. 27.02.2009 with all service, monetary and consequential benefits instead of 30.08.2013.
Facts of the Case
The Petitioner had rendered her services as EGS Instructor w.e.f. 01.10.2003 to 06.03.2004, voluntarily, on oral orders of the respondents. Subsequently, she was appointed and served as EGS Instructor w.e.f. 04.10.2004 to 10.07.2008 and thus, had completed three years and nine months as duly appointed EGS Instructor.
The Government had conveyed its approval to convert those EGS Instructors to Gramin Vidya Upasak, who had completed four years continuous service as EGS Instructors possessing minimum qualification of 10+2 and through a notification, it was decided to pay honorarium @ `3500/- per month to the said converted Gramin Vidya Upasak as payable to untrained Primary Assistant Teachers (PAT) for ten months in a year.
Services of the Petitioner were not converted into Gramin Vidya Upasak for want of continuous four years of service as EGS Instructor, whereupon Petitioner had filed a petition titled as Santosh Kumari v. State of H.P. & others, with a prayer to count her services rendered by her voluntarily as EGS Instructor w.e.f. 01.10.2003 to 06.03.2004 for the purpose of determining her eligibility for conversion/appointment to the post of Gramin Vidya Upasak and to pay for this period along with interest @ 9%.
Contentions of the Respondent
It was submitted by the learned Deputy Advocate General that non-consideration of the Petitioner for conversion of her services from EGS Instructor to Gramin Vidya Upasak was for the reason that she had not completed continuous four years of service as EGS Instructor, but had completed only three years and nine months.
Further, it was contended that the Petitioner had rendered voluntary services as EGS Instructor w.e.f. 01.10.2003 to 06.03.2004, however, at the same time it was also a fact that even if the date of the initial appointment of the Petitioner is considered as 01.10.2003, even then there was a break in service w.e.f. 07.03.2004 to 03.10.2004 as the appointment of the Petitioner as EGS Instructor on the basis of the written order was w.e.f. 04.10.2004 and thus, prima facie, the petitioner had not completed four years of continuous service. Thus, non-appointment of the petitioner as Gramin Vidya Upasak was not for unfounded reasons but for a valid reason as she was not fulfilling criteria framed for the purpose.
The Court opined that so far as monetary benefits from 09.09.2009, the date of appointment of other EGS Instructors as Gramin Vidya Upasak was concerned, petitioner was not entitled to the same as she had not worked since 09.09.2009 to 29.08.2013 and her case did not fall in the category where the respondents can be blamed for not appointing her on 09.09.2009. However, other consequential benefits, including counting her services as Gramin Vidya Upasak for the purpose of pay fixation and regularization etc., petitioner was entitled to that for the reason that once the respondents have accepted the judgment, the petitioner was to be considered to have been appointed as Gramin Vidya Upasak w.e.f. 09.09.2009, but on notional basis entitling her for all benefits of service except actual monetary benefits.
The present Petition was allowed to the extent that the Petitioner was to be considered to have been appointed as Gramin Vidya Upasak w.e.f. 09.09.2009 with all consequential benefits, but without actual monetary benefits for the period of 09.09.2009 to 29.08.2013 and Petitioner was entitled to the counting of the said period on the notional basis for the purpose of fixation of pay, increments and also for counting the length of service for the purpose of regularization and other service benefits. It was made clear that the Petitioner should be entitled to arrears of difference of salary for the period in which she had actually served i.e. after 30.08.2013 on re-fixation of her pay after counting her services w.e.f. 09.09.2009 on notional basis.
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