November 09, 2017 05:24 PM

Chandigarh (Face2News) 

“Contract based employees cannot be replaced by another set of contractual employees, not even by employing through outsourcing agency.”-Rules the High Court:

While disposing an application filed on behalf of 53 erstwhile Proof Reader-cum-Data Entry Operators, praying for issuance of appropriate directions to the Election Department, Punjab and its Chief Electoral Officer, for restraining them from engaging 117 Data Entry Operators through outsourcing agency, in replacement of the applicants, who were relieved of their duties as such contractual Proof Reader-cum-Data Entry Operators on 28.2.2017 (during pendency of their Civil Writ Petition filed by them for seeking regularization of their services in Election department against 117 sanctioned posts of Data Entry Operators), the HC Bench comprising Justice Amit Rawal today observed that in view of the judgment of Supreme Court in case of Hargurpratap Singh (2007), the respondents cannot replace contractual employees by engaging another set of contractual employees, through an outsourcing agency. The Bench also observed that while issuing notice of motion in their Civil Writ Petition on 3.7.2017, the HC Bench had observed that “The respondents shall be at liberty to engage the petitioners in case the work is available and their services are required.”.

Therefore, if the respondents require the services of Data Entry Operators, they would be required to engage the petitioners, and not any other set of contractual employees. The HC Bench further observed that in the instant application, the petitioners have only produced a copy of a letter sent by an outsourcing agency to another outsourcing agency, requesting for supply of suitable candidates for recruitment of 117 Data Entry Operators under an Election Project. It is not a communication from the department. What they have raised is merely an apprehension. In case they get hold of any document of the department, they would be at liberty to bring it to the notice of the High Court. The application filed by 53 petitioners has thus, been disposed of with the above said observations. 

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