Shimla: The High Court of Himachal Pradesh, has dismissed a petition filed against a recent letter of the State Government, issued with regard to termination of all extensions or re-employments accorded by the previous government, with immediate effect.
A Division Bench, comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh, passed this order, on a petition filed by Om Prakash Sharma.
The case of the petitioner is that he retired from the post of Tehsildar on in March thus year.The State had formulated a policy for re-engaging retired employees for a further period of one year on contract basis, so that the experience of such employees could be utilized meaningfully.
The post of Tehsildar (Bank Recovery) was lying vacant with H.P. State Co-operative Bank. After approval of the Board of Directors, the petitioner was assigned the post of Tehsildar (Bank Recovery) on in April purely on contract basis for a period of one year, on a fixed salary.
The petitioner joined as such on 13.04.2022, however, in view of the recent change of guard, the State Government issued letter dated 12 Dec whereby all extensions or re-employments accorded and operative were ordered to be terminated forthwith except for Government medical colleges.
As a fall out and direct outcome of this letter, the services of the petitioner have been terminated. Aggrieved by the action of State Government, the petitioner filed the instant petition with prayer to quash and set aside the aforesaid order of the State Government.
The Counsel for petitioner vehemently argued that the services of the petitioner could not have been terminated without following basic principles of natural justice and fair play and the action of the respondents is in violation of the provisions of Constitution of India, more particularly, Articles 14 and 16 thereof.
After hearing counsel for the petitioner at a length and going through the record of the case, the Court found that nothing prevents the respondents to review their policy.
The Court observed that it is more than settled that policy can be reviewed by the competent authority from time to time. The Court can interfere with the change in policy only after being satisfied that the same is irrational or perverse.
The Court noticed that the petitioner was not re-employed after giving wide publicity that too by inviting the best talents. The Court found justifiable reason to withdraw the earlier decision to grant re-employment.
The Court further observed that “It is in the larger public interest that the services of the re-employed needs to be dispensed with as the retired employees per se do not have any right of re-employment”. The Court didn’t find the decision taken by the respondents as unreasonable or arbitrary. The Court found no merit in the petition and accordingly dismissed the same.