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Work-charged employees: HC asks State Govt to explain scales of pay criteria

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, MARCH 21: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on Monday directed Nagaland Government to explain, in affidavit, the basis and criteria for granting scales of pay to work-charged and casual workers in the State.
The directive, issued by Justice Arun Dev Choudhury, was in relation to a writ petition filed by 2 work-charged employees of the State PWD challenging 2 sub-clauses of an office memorandum issued on March 17, 2015.
“This is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India filed challenging sub-clause (i) and (ii) of Clause 1 of the Office Memorandum dated 17.03.2015. Sub-clause (i) of Clause 1 of the said office memorandum provides that the existing work-charged and causal employees of various Department, who are enjoying scale of pay and who have completed 30 years of continuous service as on 01.01.2015, will be regularised by conversion of their posts into regular one personal to them and subject to fulfilment of conditions as enumerated in the said clause”, read the Court document.
The Counsel for the petitioners challenged this on the grounds that it had created 2 classes of work-charged and casual employees: those who are enjoying scales of pay and others who are not.
According to the Counsel, such a classification “hits Article 14 of the Constitution of India inasmuch as both the classes, who are getting scales of pay and who are not getting scales of pay, are similarly situated”.
He further submitted that the scales of pay were being granted at the whims and fancies of the Department and there was no statutory provision and/or any executive instruction determining the criteria for grant of such scales of pay.
In his order, Justice Choudhury listed the matter to be heard again after 4 weeks.
“The State Counsel(s) shall file their affidavit to the pleadings made by the petitioners. The State must explain in affidavit the basis and criteria for granting scales of pay to the work-charged and casual workers. The State also needs explain what is the reasonable nexus between regularisation and grant of scales of pay”, read the order.
(Page News Service)