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HC comes to old Work-Charged employee’s aid, again

Gauhati High Corut Kohima Bench

DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 20: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on Tuesday ordered Nagaland PWD to complete within 6 weeks the process of verifying and, if eligible, pay its 46-year-old Work-Charged employee the minimum pay scale (at the lowest grade in the regular pay scale) extended to the regular employees holding the same post.
The petition was filed by H Yanhokiu, Work-Charged Labour at the office of Executive Engineer, PWD Central Division, Tuensang.
“The instant writ petition has been filed by the petitioner seeking a direction upon the respondent authorities for payment of the minimum scale of pay in terms with the latest Revision of Pay adopted from time to time with arrears thereon. From the materials on record it reveals that the petitioner was appointed on September 1, 2000, to the post of Work-charged Labour on fixed pay under the establishment of the Executive Engineer, PWD (R&B), Central Division, Tuensang, Nagaland.
“The petitioner, on the basis of his appointment was being paid an amount of Rs 5,280 per month. It is the specific case of the petitioner that the petitioner is discharging duties as those of the regular Grade-IV employees and hence, the petitioner deserves to be treated similarly while granting benefits as those of the regular Grade-IV employees”, stated an order passed by Justice Devashis Baruah.
According to the petitioner, he had submitted a representation on August 5, 2022 to the Engineer-in-Chief (PWD) requesting to grant him the minimum scale of pay in terms with the latest ROP as given to the regular employees in his grade.
“The entire edifice of the case of the petitioner hinges upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of State of Punjab & Others vs. Jagjit Singh, reported in (2017) 1 SCC 148. Taking into account that the representation of the petitioner has not been considered the petitioner has approached this Court by filing the present writ petition on October 27, 2022”, it stated.
In his order, the Judge noted the petitioner’s claim that he had rendered service for almost 23 years as of today. “It is the specific case of the petitioner that the petitioner is also discharging duties as those of the regular Grade-IV employees. Further to that it is also the case of the petitioner that the petitioner’s qualification is the same to that of Grade-IV employees.
“In that view of the matter, this Court is of the opinion that the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of Jagjit Singh (supra) and more particularly referring to the paragraphs above quoted would apply to the facts of the instant case”, stated the order.
Considering the petitioner’s claim of discharging the same duties as that of regular Grade-IV employees in addition to possessing the same qualification, the Judge said that he would be entitled to the minimum of pay scale extended to the regular employees holding the same post.
“This Court cannot also be unmindful of the fact that in spite of notice being issued to the respondents, the respondents have not cared to file their affidavit-in-opposition dealing with the averments made in the writ petition, more particularly as to whether the petitioner is rendering similar service to that of the regular employees and as to whether the petitioner’s qualification is one and the same to that of regular Grade-IV employees.
“This Court, however, is not inclined to pass, at this stage, directions for granting the petitioner the minimum of the pay scale (at the lowest grade in the regular pay scale) on the ground of doctrine of non-traverse without verification as to whether the petitioner discharges similar duties and has the same qualification of regular Grade-IV employees”, it stated.
The Judge, however, noted that there was a representation submitted by the petitioner on August 5, 2022, which is presently pending. Accordingly, he issued the directives with said 6-weeks’ timeframe.
(Page News Service)

 

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