Case BriefsForeign Courts

Supreme Court of Pakistan: The Three-Judge Bench of Gulzar Ahmed, Faisal Arab And Ijaz Ul Ahsan, JJ., dismissed a petition filed by a contractual employee holding that he had approached the wrong forum for relief.

Petitioner herein was appointed as an ECG Technician in District Headquarters Hospital, Rawalpindi on a contractual basis. When his services were terminated, he challenged the termination through a representation which was not decided. Therefore, he approached the Lahore High Court which directed the respondent to decide his representation. The said representation was dismissed by departmental authority. Petitioner assailed this order through a writ petition which was allowed. Respondents, feeling aggrieved, challenged the said order through an intra court appeal (ICA) which was allowed. Hence, this petition.

Counsel for the petitioner Sardar Abdul Raziq Khan submitted that the Division Bench of High Court fell in error in reversing the findings of learned Single Judge in a mechanical manner. Further, the ICA filed by respondent was not maintainable as the respondent was neither a party to the proceedings in the writ petition nor was directly aggrieved by the order therein.

The Court noted that any aggrieved person, whether or not he was a party in a lis, has the right to approach an appellate forum. Reliance in this regard was placed on H. M. Saya & Co. v. Wazir Ali Industries Ltd. Further, the dispute between parties related to contract employment, and the only remedy available to a contract employee is to file a suit for damages alleging breach of contract or failure to extend the contract. A contractual employee is debarred from approaching the High Court in its constitutional jurisdiction. Reliance in this regard was placed on Federation of Pakistan v. Muhammad Azam Chattha, 2013 SCMR 120.

In view of the above, the petition was dismissed.[Qazi Munir Ahmed v. Rawalpindi Medical College and Allied Hospital, 2019 SCC OnLine Pak SC 3, Order dated 06-03-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The Bench of Ashutosh Kumar, J. dismissed a petition filed by a contractual employee holding that there was no infirmity in an order rejecting renewal of his service, as there was a complaint pending against him.

Petitioner herein had applied for the post of Junior Engineer on contractual basis for one year, in the year 2008. He was offered the letter of appointment; but the terms of appointment were only for one year, which could have been renewed later subject to his rendering services to the satisfaction of the employer. Petitioner’s case was that his contract was subsequently renewed several times but in the present instance, the government had refused to renew his contract of service. Aggrieved thereby, the instant petition was filed.

The Court noted that reason for non-renewal of petitioner’s contract of service was that one Manju Kumari, who claimed herself to be his wife (denied by petitioner), had made a complaint of rape against him. The terms of appointment of petitioner clearly stated that if the services of a particular contractual employee are satisfactory and no complaint has been received against him, normally his contractual appointment shall be renewed.

The orders rejecting petitioner’s request for extending the period of contract, did not spell out the specific reason but it did indicate that entire facts were gone into by the employer and then a conscious decision was taken. Thus, it was held that there was no anomaly in the decision of Government, as facts of the complaint alleged by Manju Kumari indicated, at least till the matter is finally decided, an instance of moral turpitude.[Kaushal Kishore Bhagat v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 269, Order dated 26-02-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

High Court of Uttaranchal: The Court while hearing a petition relating to the issue of maternity leave not been granted to the petitioner since she was a contractual employee working under the respondent, the Bench comprising of Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh, JJ., observed that even though the petitioner is appointed on a contractual basis she is entitled to maternity leave with full pay as per Section 5 of the Maternity Benefit Act read in conjunction with Rule 153 of U.P. Fundamental Rules. The petitioner has moved the court as her maternity leave was not sanctioned. However, the case of the respondents is that since, the petitioner was appointed on contractual basis, and working as a Lecturer (Sociology) hence, she was not entitled for maternity leave.

The Court rejecting the contentions of the respondent observed that in a welfare State it is the obligation of the State to ensure the creation and sustaining of the conditions congenial to good health therefore maternity leave, being social insurance benefit, is a key for maternal and child health and family support hence a employer should be considerate and sympathetic toward a working women and grant maternity leave with full pay for 180 days, even if she is working on contractual basis, ad hoc/tenure or temporary basis under the mandate of under Article 21 of the Constitution read with Article 42. The Court further stated that a female government employee is also entitled to Child Care Leave (CCL) for a child below 18 years of age, as per the recommendation of the 6th Central Pay Commission, of 730 days during the entire service. The Court also highlighted the provisions of paternity leave for a male government servant for a period of at least three weeks to enable the father to look after the mother and child. [Dr. Deepa Sharma v. State of Uttarakhand, 2016 SCC OnLine Utt 2015, decided on 15th December, 2016]