The Supreme Court has stressed that regularisation of a daily wager cannot be done unless the appointment has been made by the competent authority against a sanctioned post.
In February 2020, a division bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court had set aside the direction passed by a single bench of the high court directing regularisation of services of Vibhuti Shankar Pandey as supervisor in the state Water Resources Department. Pandey moved the apex court challenging the division bench order.
A two-judge bench of the apex court comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia said: “The Division Bench rightly held that the learned Single Judge has not followed the principle of law as given by this Court in Secretary, State of Karnataka and ors. v. Umadevi and ors., as initial appointment must be done by the competent authority and there must be a sanctioned post on which the daily rated employee must be working.”
It thus junked the appeal filed by Pandey challenging an order by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on February 13, 2020.
“In view of the law laid down by the Constitution Bench of this court in Uma Devi (supra), the appellant had no case for regularization. There is no scope, hence, for our interference with the order of the Division Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Appeal is dismissed,” the bench ruled.
Pandey claimed he was engaged as supervisor in 1980, on a daily rated basis, under a project of the state Water Resources Department, and had sought regularisation to the post of supervisor/time keeper.
The apex court noted that Pandey did not possess a minimum qualification, matriculation with maths, for the post, however, the government relaxed this qualification in December 2010.
Pandey had submitted that he should be regularised, as he had been working on a daily wage basis for a long period of time and pointed out that persons who were junior to him as daily wagers were regularised in 1990 or even before. The court noted that though minimum qualifications were met, the fact remains that Pandey was never appointed against any post.
The court pointed out that his appointment was never made by the competent authority and there were no posts available at the time for regularisation.