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Nagaland Govt.’s uneasy relationship with work-charged/ad hoc employees

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 19: Nagaland Government’s uneasy relationship with work-charged, ad hoc, or contingency employees, especially in matters of their service regularisation, continues to land it in legal dispute.
On Friday (November 17) alone, the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court heard four petitions filed separately by six such employees seeking the Court’s directive to have their respective services regularised by the State Government.
Three of the cases pertained to employees of PWD and one to Treasuries and Accounts.
According to K Philangam, he was appointed as Peon [contingency] on fixed pay in the establishment of the Directorate of Treasuries and Accounts, Kohima, by an office order dated November 29.
“As per the Tentative Seniority List of fixed pay Peons under the Directorate of Treasuries and Accounts, Nagaland, Kohima, published on January 21, 2012, the petitioner was the senior-most Peon [fixed pay]. Claiming minimum scale of pay and regularisation of her service, the petitioner has preferred the instant writ petition.
“It has been averred that there are 19 nos. of vacant posts of Peon in the establishment of Directorate of Treasuries and Accounts, Nagaland, Kohima, as on date. Issue notice, returnable in 4 [four] weeks”, stated an order issued by Justice Manish Choudhury.
The petitioner also sought for an interim order to the effect that the authorities should not fill up one post of Peon under the Directorate of Treasuries and Account. “The prayer for such interim relief is kept open for consideration on the returnable date, which to be passed on the basis of instructions to be placed by the learned State Counsel on the returnable date”, it stated.
One of the other petitions was filed by three retired employees of PWD: Arinla, Aso Chang and Limayangla.
“The petitioners, 3 [three] in nos., have claimed that they are Work-Charged Jugali, Work-Charged Carpenter [Helper], Work-Charged Tracer [since retired in 2022] enjoying scale of pay. It has been averred that all the 3 [three] petitioners have/had completed 30 years of service and as such, they are entitled to be regularised in terms of the Notification dated March 17, 2015 of the Personnel Administrative Reforms Department, Government of Nagaland.
“With the grievance that they have been arbitrarily deprived of the benefit of regularisation, they have preferred the writ petition. Issue notice, returnable in 4 [four] weeks”, stated an order issued by the same Judge.
Two more PWD employees, Imtisungla Phom and Thsapise Sangtam, both of whom retired as Work-Charged Tracer, also filed separate petitions seeking regularisation of their respective services after having served for more than 30 years.
In both the cases, the Court issued notices returnable within 4 weeks.
In a ruling delivered in December 2021, the Court had pointed out flaws in Nagaland Government’s policy on work-charged or casual employees that allow the State to exploit the services of those employees for years.
“One cannot be appointed to jobs on contingency basis in posts which are an integral part of the office working system for years together. Posts like chowkidar, peon and driver, etc., are integral and necessary posts in an office.
“These are posts without which an office cannot run. It cannot be termed as work-charged. Appointment in these posts for years together on contract/contingency basis would be exploitation to deprive them of their service benefits which includes pension benefits”, it had ruled then.
(Page News Service)