calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court: In a writ petition seeking regularisation of service post-retirement and claim to entitlement to pension and other retiral dues, a single-judge bench comprising of Kausik Chanda,* J., rejected the petitioner’s plea for regularisation of service post-retirement, emphasising the absence of a sanctioned post for the petitioner’s appointment. The Court also dismissed claims of discrimination and highlighted the negative stance of previous judgments on the regularisation of ad-hoc and illegal appointments.

Brief Facts

In the instant matter, the petitioner retired in 2022 as a Laboratory Attendant in the Geology Department at Trivenidevi Bhalotia College. The petitioner was initially appointed as a part-time Laboratory Attendant in 1983 and later as a full-time Laboratory Attendant in 1984. Two other employees were also given full-time appointments in different departments at the same time. The College, by an order dated 28-03-2022, rejected the petitioner’s request for regularisation. The petitioner seeks regularisation of his service post-retirement, claiming entitlement to pension and other retiral dues.

Moot Point

  1. Whether the petitioner’s service, termed as “irregular appointment,” is eligible for post-retirement regularisation?

  2. Whether the denial of regularisation to the petitioner, while others were regularised, amounts to discrimination?

  3. Whether the petitioner’s appointment was against a sanctioned post?

Parties’ Contentions

The petitioner contended that his service should be regularised as he possessed the required qualifications and served for over ten years against a sanctioned post. The petitioner relied on the judgments in State of Karnataka v. Umadevi (3), (2006) 4 SCC 1 and State of Jharkhand v. Kamal Prasad, (2014) 7 SCC 223 to support the post-retirement regularisation claim.

On the other hand, the respondent college argued that the petitioner’s appointment was irregular and not against a sanctioned post, making regularisation impermissible. The respondent cited several precedents, including Mohd. Ashif v. State of Bihar, (2010) 5 SCC 475, Subedar Singh v. Distt. Judge, Mirzapur, (2001) 1 SCC 37, and Vibhuti Shankar Pandey v. . State of M.P., (2023) 3 SCC 639, to argue against the regularisation of ad-hoc and illegal appointments.

Court’s Decision

The Court dismissed the writ petition holding that the petitioner’s service, being irregular and against an unsanctioned post, cannot be regularised post-retirement.

The Court stated that the judgment referred as precedents is establishing a negative stance on the regularisation of ad-hoc, illegal appointments and rejected the petitioner’s claim of negative equality based on the regularisation of other employees in similar situations.

[Tarak Bhattacharya v. State of W.B., 2024 SCC OnLine Cal 201, order dated 08-01-2024]

*Judgment by Justice Kausik Chanda

Advocates who appeared in this case:

Mr. Manas Kumar Ghosh, Ms. Susmita Dey (Basu), Counsel for the Petitioner

Mr. Sharanya Chatterjee, Mr. Ayaskanta Ghosh, Counsel for the Respondent 3, 4 and 5

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