BENGALURU: Observing that the State Government and Bangalore University cannot have a hands-off approach to their obligation towards the demand of some employees for regularisation of services, the Karnataka High Court directed them to consider the claim within four months. The petitioners — over 50 employees including 20 Group-D workers — have completed service in the university ranging from 20 to 25 years and are all aged between 43 and 57 years.
Justice M Nagaprasanna directed the state government to consider the university’s proposal, sent on September 12, 2019, and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law, bearing in mind the observations of the court. The university should not shirk its responsibility of considering the cases of the petitioners for regularisation of services in the event the State Government leaves it to the discretion of the university, the judge noted.
“In my considered view, if the claim of the petitioners for regularisation is not considered, it would be leaving such employees in the lurch after having extracted work from them for close to 24 years. Their services have been utilised in their energetic youth, have travelled this far and are at this age.
If they are not considered for regularisation now, it would amount to exploitation of such labour by the university, under Article 12 of the Constitution. It is not the university that is now wanting to deny the benefit of regularisation, but the State Government, on an irrelevant plea of financial burden of 1.36 crore”, Justice Nagaprasanna observed.
The judge clarified that, in the event of the university passing orders of regularisation, the petitioners shall not be entitled to count their services after completion of 10 years from the respective dates of their initial engagement for the purpose of determination of all other service conditions and every terminal benefit.
The judge noted that in their heydays, the petitioners have toiled for the university on receiving even paltry sums as salary. If their cases are not considered at this juncture, it would be an arbitrary action, violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and would result in leaving the employees in the lurch. The buoyancy of hope that the petitioners have all along carried with them should not again be turned by the State and University into fatigue of despair, the judge added.