J&K HC | Failure to appear before Screening Committee would not lead to non-inclusion in the Casual Labors list

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: Ali Mohammad Magrey, J. disposed of the writ petition on the grounds that a similar matter was already ruled in favor of the petitioners and thus the same orders were to be followed verbatim.

The petitioner by way of the instant application was seeking the release of his legitimately earned wages in his favor for the services rendered or to be rendered by him in the respondent Department since the petitioner was to be included in the final list of casual laborers on the basis of the report submitted by respondent 3, and also consider the claim of the petitioner for regularization as and when such policy is framed.

 The petitioner was working as a Casual Labor in the respondent Department since the year 2009. The respondents framed a list of Casual Labors, 645 in number, including the petitioner herein, in terms whereof the case of these Casual Labors was submitted to the higher authorities for regularization of their services in the respondent Department. The case of the petitioner was withheld on account of authentication/ verification and not included in the final list framed by the respondents. It was argued that the petitioner had approached the respondents for enlisting him in the final list but the respondent.3, while forwarding the list of left out need-based Casual Labors to the respondent 2, intimated to the said authority that the verification/ authentication has been done by the concerned Committee with regard to other left out Casual Labors, including the petitioner. The respondent 2, in turn, had advised the respondent 3 that the said recommendation needed to be verified by all the members of the Committee concerned. In response to the said communication, the respondent 3, submitted the list of left out need-based Casual Labors whose authentication/ verification was done by the members of the Committee.

The petitioner contended that despite the recommendations of the respondent 3 to the respondent 2 intimating therein that the verification/ authentication had been duly done by all the members of the Committee concerned with regard to the case of the left out need-based Casual Labors, including the petitioner, the respondent 2 did not include the petitioner in the final list and also did not release the legitimately earned wages in favor of the petitioner, constraining the petitioner to file the instant writ petition.

The respondents argued that the petitioner did not present himself and remained unavailable before the Empowered Committee at the time of screening of the Casual Labors undertaken by the Department, as such, could not be enlisted in the final list of Casual Labors.

The High Court took into consideration earlier litigation on similar lines where 15 out of the 21 Casual Labors who were left out from the final list of Casual Labors, were included in the final list of Casual Labors on the basis of the report submitted by the respondent 3. The only practical difficulty faced by the respondents was the factum that the petitioner failed to appear before the Screening Committee which was constituted for the said purpose. It was, thus, clear that the case of the petitioner herein was similarly situated to that of the other 15 Casual Labors, and thus the instant petition was disposed of by directing the respondent 2 to include the petitioner in the final list of Casual Labors on the basis of the report submitted by the respondent 3. The respondents were also ordered to release the legitimately earned wages in favor of the petitioner for the services rendered or to be rendered by him in the respondent Department, as are being paid to the other similarly situated enlisted Casual Labors. [Bilal Ahmad Shah v. State of J&K, 2019 SCC OnLine J&K 825, decided on 23-09-2019]

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.