Kerala High Court orders deferring all actions on regularisation of temporary employees in government undertakings

Justice Devan Ramachandran orders maintenance of status quo in regularisation of temporary/contract staff till March 12

The Kerala High Court on Thursday ordered deferring all actions on the orders regularising temporary/contract employees in 10 government undertakings, including the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology(C-DIT), LBS Centre for Science and Technology and the Kerala State Remote Sensing and Environmental Centre (KSREC).

Justice Devan Ramachandran also ordered that the status quo as on Thursday be maintained with respect to regularisation of temporary employees till March 12.

The court passed the order on a writ petition filed by Vishnu S, a candidate in the rank list prepared by LBS Centre for Science and Technology, and five other job aspirants challenging the approval of temporary appointments made in 10 government undertakings.

The court granted the government time till March 12 to provide its response to the allegations by the petitioners.

Back-door appointments

When the petition came up for hearing, George Poothottam, senior counsel for the petitioners, submitted that these government undertakings were resorting to back-door appointments by regularising temporary employees. They were doing this without following selection procedure and reservation norms as mandated under various laws.

The petitioners pointed out that the fundamental rights of eligible candidates were seriously affected by the regularisations. The government action in allowing recruitment of persons without following due process of law amounted to injustice and constitutional fraud. The persons appointed on a temporary/contract basis were accepting the same on the complete knowledge that the nature of their engagement was purely provisional and, therefore, they could not turn around at a later point and seek regularisation. Even if such a claim was made, the government and its instrumentalities were duty-bound to ignore such illegal claims and to make regular appointments in public posts in accordance with due process of law.

The petitioners said that the government had approved the proposal submitted by the C-DIT for regularisation of as many as 114 temporary employees who had been working for more than 10 years. It was also decided to regularise 296 contract employees working in the Kerala State Electronic Development Corporation Limited (KELTRON). Similar was the case in other government-controlled institutions, including the Kerala Womenโ€™s Commission. The procedure established by law could not be given the go-by in matters of public employment, they said.

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