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Ad hoc employee cannot be replaced by another ad hoc employee: HC

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, MAY 1: Ruling that an ad hoc employee cannot be terminated from service if the replacement is also another ad hoc employee, the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court has ordered the State’s Food and Civil Supplies Department to reinstate a person it had previously terminated from service.
In an order issued on April 28, Justice Nelson Sailo stated that the order issued by the Department on January 7, 2019, terminating the service of Takuwangshi from the post of Handyman was unsustainable in view of law laid down by the Supreme Court.
Thus, he set aside the termination order. Consequently, the Judge also set aside the other order issued on the same day through which the Department had appointed Piketo Shohe as replacement.
“The respondents are directed to reinstate the petitioner back into service till such time the post is regularly filled up by adhering to selection process as per the established guidelines. In such event, both the petitioner and the private respondent should be given a fair opportunity to participate. In so far as back wages are concerned, the petitioner on his reinstatement will not be entitled to the same on the principle of ‘no work no pay'”, the order stated.
According to Court records, the petitioner Takuwangshi was appointed to the post of Handyman under the establishment of Director of Food and Civil Supplies in 2017 “on temporary basis and liable to be terminated after giving 1 month’s notice or 1 month pay without assigning any reason”.
However, on January 7, 2019, he was terminated from service with immediate effect along with another employee named Lanutoshi Pongener, a Driver.
Aggrieved at this, the petitioner, through his Counsel, served a legal notice to the Director of Food and Civil Supplies on July 20, 2020.
In response to the notice, the Additional Director of Food& Civil Supplies informed the petitioner that his termination was with the approval of the Government as indicated in the order of termination.
Still aggrieved, the petitioner went knocking on the Court’s door.
After hearing the arguments, the Judge noted that the termination order does not reflect any reason as to why he was terminated from service, apart from indicating that it was as per the directive of the Government.
“There is also no dispute to the fact that the respondent No. 4 (Piketo Shohe) was appointed in place of the petitioner on the same day itself. Although the respondent No. 4, in his affidavit, has stated that the petitioner had not been regularly attending his duties but the State respondents, in their affidavit, have made no such indication, except for stating that since the appointment was on temporary basis and was terminable without assigning any reason or notice, his service was terminated.
“The Apex Court in the case of State of Haryana & Others VsPiara Singh &Ors (supra) has held that ad hoc employee or temporary employee cannot be replaced by another ad hoc or temporary employee except by a regularly selected employee. It may be further be noticed that in respect of the other person (Lanutoshi Pongener) who was terminated along with the petitioner, approached this Court by filing WP(C) No. 23/2019 and this Court vide order dated September 24, 2019 set aside the termination of the petitioner therein and directed his reinstatement”, the order read.
Thus, the Judge ruled that the termination order was unsustainable.
(Page News Service)