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Casual workers have no Right of Regularization: J&K High Court

Wattandaily.com Reports; In recent ruling by a Division Bench of the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court, presided over by Justice Atul Sreedharan and Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi, clarified the status of casual workers, asserting that they do not possess the right to regularization. The court emphasized that the services of casual workers can only be continued on a need basis, subject to the availability of funds provided by the government.

The Division Bench addressed appeals lodged against a judgment from the writ court, which had denied regularization but directed the authorities to release legitimately earned wages for the period of actual work done by the appellants.

The petitioners had contended that they were engaged as casual workers in the Health Department following Government Order No.585-HME of 2014, which authorized the hiring of 1284 casual workers as Nursing Orderlies for newly upgraded or created health institutions.

The petitioners had been engaged in 2014/2015 under various engagement orders issued by the Chief Medical Officer, Ganderbal, and had diligently fulfilled their assigned duties. They argued that it was the constitutional duty of the respondents to regularize their services due to their continuous employment as casual workers.

In its verdict, the Division Bench upheld the writ court’s decision, dismissing the appeals filed by the petitioners. However, it directed the respondents to ensure the timely release of legitimately earned wages for the period in which the appellants had worked, including instances covered by interim court orders, within a timeframe of four weeks.

This ruling underscores the distinction between casual workers and permanent employees, affirming that casual workers are engaged based on immediate necessity and are not entitled to the same rights and benefits as regular employees.

While the petitioners’ plea for regularization was dismissed, the court’s directive to release wages acknowledges their rightful compensation for the services rendered during their tenure as casual workers.

The judgment serves as a reminder of the legal framework governing casual employment arrangements and the limitations associated with such engagements. It emphasizes the importance of clarity and adherence to legal principles in matters concerning employment rights and obligations, ensuring equitable treatment for all categories of workers within the legal framework.(WD)

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