Gujarat High Court: Biren Vaishnav, J. dismissed a petition which was filed aggrieved by the award dated 14-02-2020 by which petitioner-State of Gujarat has been directed to pay to the respondent-sweeper, salary for undertaking work for four hours a day together with arrears from the date of reinstatement. It was also directed that when a regular process of recruitment is undertaken, looking to her tenure of service since the year 1985, preference be given to her.

Respondent-Union raised an industrial dispute on behalf of– part-timer in reference to extending the benefits that were available to full time employees. It was contended that she had completed over 30 years of service and even thereafter she was still being paid fixed wages though working in the establishment from 10 am to 6.30 pm.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that she was not appointed on a permanent set up but she worked as and when there was work available for a period of two years for cleaning and serving water. That she was paid through the contingency funds. That, there was no regular set up and since her appointment was not in accordance with the procedure of recruitment, she was not entitled to regularization.

Perusal of the reasoning assigned by the Industrial Tribunal for granting the benefits of fixed pay of 4 hours of work and only granting a limited benefit of letting the respondent-workman participate in the recruitment process as and when taken, was:

1) In her deposition she stated that she was not given any appointment order. Vouchers for December 1989 to July 1991 were produced by the employer which persuaded the Industrial Tribunal to hold that in absence of any evidence contrary that the respondent had worked only for two hours in a day, examining the nature of duties that the respondent carried out, the Industrial Tribunal came to the conclusion that she was working for over eight hours a day.

2) Court found that on her services from 1985 till the date of reinstatement based on an award in her favour which was confirmed by the High Court, the deposition of the respondent indicate the various activities, nature of duties or work that she carried out and it was plausible to believe that the kind and nature of work she undertook, there was reason to believe that the work would last for more than two hours.

The Court found no fault with the reasoning of the Tribunal and dismissed the petition.[State of Gujarat v. Saurashtra Majur Mahajan Sangh, 2022 SCC OnLine Guj 722, decided on 04-05-2022]

Ms Surbhi Bhati, AGP for the Petitioner(s) 1,2

Krishnam M Ghavariya for the Respondent(s) 1

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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