High Court Rules in Favor of Termination of Temporary Employee Without Enquiry

High Court Rules in Favor of Termination of Temporary Employee Without Enquiry

In a recent ruling, the High Court has held that the government has the authority to terminate a temporary employee from their services without conducting a detailed regular departmental enquiry. The court dismissed a plea challenging the termination order of a contractual employee, stating that the employee’s engagement was temporary, and therefore, a full-fledged enquiry was not necessary.

The petitioner, Abid Ahmad Ganai, had challenged the termination order and communication issued by the concerned authority. Ganai’s engagement as a Gram Rozgar Sahayak, along with other officials, was terminated after his involvement in a fake MGNREGA job card scam in district Anantnag in 2019 came to light.

Ganai’s counsel argued that his services could not have been terminated without a detailed enquiry and that the termination order violated the principles of natural justice. They contended that the petitioner was not given a fair hearing.

Justice Sanjay Dhar, however, rejected these arguments, stating that since Ganai’s engagement was temporary, there was no requirement for a full-fledged enquiry before terminating his services. The court concluded that the termination was carried out in accordance with the conditions of Ganai’s engagement and the principles of natural justice.

The court also highlighted that Ganai was not a regular employee holding a civil post but was engaged on a temporary basis with consolidated wages. Therefore, the safeguards available to regular employees under Article 311 of the Constitution of India and the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules did not apply to Ganai.

The judgment emphasized that the conditions of Ganai’s engagement allowed for termination at any time in cases of proven misbehavior or poor performance. It also stated that termination could occur without notice if any acts of indiscipline were committed.

Citing a ruling by the apex court on the matter, Justice Dhar reiterated that contractual employees do not enjoy the protection of a full-fledged enquiry under Article 311(2) because they are not members of a civil service of the Union, an All India Service, or a civil service of a State, nor do they hold a civil post under the Union or a State.

The authorities informed the court that the termination of Ganai and other employees was a result of brazen irregularities and the issuance of fake MGNREGA job cards in district Anantnag. A Committee of Officers was constituted to investigate these allegations, and after scrutinizing the records, it was found that certain deviations, discrepancies, and irregularities had taken place. It was established that the job cards had been issued in violation of the rules and norms of the scheme.

In conclusion, the High Court’s ruling affirms that temporary employees can be terminated without a detailed regular departmental enquiry, as long as the termination is in accordance with the conditions of their engagement.

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