IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL Nos.4262-4263 OF 2015
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH ORS. APPELLANTS
MOHD. SULEMAN SIDDIQUI RESPONDENT
Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, J.
1 A learned Single Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, by a
judgment dated 18 April 2014 allowed a Writ Petition instituted by the respondent under
Inspector General (Registration) rejecting a representation for regularisation, submitted
by the respondent and directed the grant of consequential benefits. The Division Bench
declined to condone a delay of 96 days in filing a Special Appeal as a consequence of
which the order of the learned Single Judge has been maintained.
Signature Not Verified
Digitally signed by
On 7 February 1991, the Inspector General (Registration), Jhansi Division
constituted a Selection Committee inter alia for selection of candidates for the
Registration Department. On 24 February 1991, vacancies were notified to the Local
Employment Exchange. Candidates were interviewed. The minutes of the meeting of
the Departmental Selection Committee dated 24 February 1991 indicate that six posts
were available for selection against regular vacancies, of which one post was reserved
for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates. The Departmental Selection
Committee selected six candidates in order of merit against the regular vacancies. In
addition, two more candidates were recommended for appointment against vacancies
which were likely to fall vacant before the expiry of the recruitment year.
3 Besides selecting the above eight candidates against existing and probable
vacancies falling within the recruitment year in the office of the District Registrar, the
Committee noted that registration clerks were working in the office of the Deputy
Registrar, Jhansi as daily wagers. Considering the requirement of registration clerks on
a daily wage basis, a list of the incumbents was prepared for appointment as
registration clerks on daily wage basis. The name of the respondent was among eleven
4 On 27 May 1991, the Inspector General (Registration) addressed a
communication to all the District Registrars stating that a decision had been taken to
terminate the services of all the daily wage employees who had been engaged for
dealing with pending work in the establishments under their control. The services of the
respondent were dispensed with together with other daily wage employees.
5 Following the dispensation of their services, the daily wage employees moved
the Allahabad High Court. An interim order staying termination was passed on 1 July
1991. Adverting to the interim order of the High Court, the District Registrar, Jhansi,
issued a circular dated 19 July 1991 directing that the eleven daily wage employees
would be permitted to work as before on the same terms and conditions. The Writ
Petition before the Allahabad High Court was dismissed on 8 February 1995.
Proceedings were initiated before this Court under Article 136 of the Constitution. On
the grant of special leave, that proceeding, which was numbered as Civil Appeal
No.9136 of 1995, was disposed of by a two Judge Bench of this Court on 27 September
6 Before this Court, a submission was made on behalf of the daily wage
employees, who were the appellants, that they had not been employed as registration
clerks on a daily wage basis, but had been duly selected by the Departmental Selection
Committee constituted under the Rules and had been appointed on a regular basis by
the District Registrar, Jhansi. On behalf of the State, it was urged that the
appointments were made without complying with the provisions of Rule 22 of the
Subordinate Offices Ministerial Staff (District Recruitment) Rules 1985 1, as a result of
which the selection was void ab initio.
7 Since this question was not examined by the High Court, the proceedings were
remitted back to the High Court for a decision afresh. On remand, a Division Bench of
the High Court, by its judgment dated 9 September 1999, set aside the orders that were
impugned in the writ petitions. The State was directed to give consequential benefits.
The Division Bench of the High Court held that under Rule 22 of the Rules, vacancies
were required to be notified to the Employment Exchange. Moreover, it was open to the
appointing authority to invite applications directly from persons registered with the
Employment Exchange for which purpose an advertisement was required to be issued
1 “the Rules”
in the daily newspaper. The High Court held that since the appointing authority did not
call for applications directly from candidates, there was no need to publish an
advertisement in the newspapers. The High Court observed that since the vacancies
had been notified to the Employment Exchange, Rule 22 of the Rules was, in
substance, complied with. Though the candidates in question had not been sponsored
by the Employment Exchange, but had directly applied for appointment, in the view of
the High Court, this was not prohibited by Rule 22. The directions of the High Court are
extracted below :
“…The judgment of the learned Single Judge is liable to be
set aside and the orders impugned in the writ petitions are
liable to be quashed, in such view of the matter the question
of issuing a direction to the concerned authority to consider
the case of the appellants for regularization in accordance
with the judgment of the Apex Court in Khagesh Kumar
(supra) does not arise.
In view of the above discussion the appeals succeed
and are allowed. The judgment under challenge are set aside
and the orders impugned in the writ petitions are quashed.
The respondents are directed to give consequential benefits
to the appellants.”
8 The respondent was in the meantime involved in a criminal case, following which
he was prevented from discharging his duties. A representation was addressed by the
respondent to the Inspector General (Registration) on 8 August 2011. This was
following the order of the Allahabad High Court in another writ petition 2 instituted by him.
The High Court, in its order dated 12 May 2011, observed that one of the grievances of
the respondent was that he had been prevented from discharging his duties due to the
pendency of the criminal case. The respondent stated that the criminal case had ended
in acquittal, as a result of an order passed by the High Court in a criminal revision. The
second grievance of the respondent was that other similarly placed employees had
2 WP 60259 of 2009
been given the benefit of regularization. The Allahabad High Court directed the
Inspector General to deal with the representation. On 16 August 2011, the
representation was rejected.
Judicial Magistrate, Jhansi on 28 June 2000 and sentenced to six months’ simple
imprisonment. In appeal, the conviction was confirmed by the Sessions Judge.
However, on 13 September 2006, in the course of the hearing of Criminal Revision 721
of 2001, the High Court was informed that the complainant and the respondent –
accused had entered into an agreement out of Court. Based on the purported
compromise, the High Court allowed the Criminal Revision and set aside the judgment
of conviction. Based on these facts, the representation submitted by the respondent
was rejected by the Inspector General (Registration). The respondent was held unfit for
joining government service. He was also found unfit for regularisation and grant of
consequential service benefits.
10 The respondent once again instituted a Writ Petition 3 before the Allahabad High
Court. The relief which was sought was the quashing of the order dated 16 August
2011 rejecting his representation. During the pendency of the Writ Petition, by an
interim order dated 21 May 2011, the State was directed to permit the respondent to
continue in service pending further orders.
11 The Writ Petition was allowed by a learned Single Judge of the High Court, by
the impugned order dated 18 April 2014. The learned Single Judge, while allowing the
3 [Civil Miscellaneous Writ Petition 67599 of 2011]
Writ Petition and setting aside the order dated 16 August 2011, granted all
consequential benefits. The learned Single Judge of the High Court, during the course
of the judgment took note of the fact that Writ Petition 19357 of 2001 instituted by the
respondent had been disposed of on 11 May 2004. During the pendency of the Writ
Petition, there was an interim direction to allow the respondent to continue. Against the
final judgment dated 11 May 2004, Special Appeal 385 of 2005 had been filed, which
was pending. The learned Single Judge held that:
(i) The order of conviction had been set aside by the High Court in a Criminal
(ii) The services of the respondent had never been terminated;
(iii) The selection of the respondent was on a regular basis and the termination was
found to be illegal and was set aside on 9 September 1999; and
(iv) There was no order of termination in accordance with law.
12 A Special Appeal was dismissed by a Division Bench on 23 September 2014 on
the ground of delay.
13 Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants submits that the basis of
the judgment of the High Court is flawed. The Minutes of the Departmental Selection
Committee indicate that the respondent was appointed on a daily wage basis. As
against six regular vacancies, the Departmental Selection Committee recommended
eight candidates. This list did not include the name of the respondent. Learned counsel
submitted that consequent upon his termination being set aside by the High Court on 9
September 1999, the respondent was taken back to work. However, learned counsel
has adverted to the fact that against the judgment of the learned Single Judge dated 11
May 2004, a Special Appeal was filed by the State being Special Appeal 385 of 2005.
That Special Appeal, together with a batch of appeals, was disposed of by a Division
Bench of the High Court on 5 October 2017, as a result of which the plea for
regularization of daily wagers who were engaged as registration clerks has been
rejected. Learned counsel submitted that the pendency of the Special Appeal 385 of
2005 was noticed in paragraph 7 of the impugned judgment of the learned Single
Judge. Since the Special Appeal has been disposed of, it was submitted that the
respondent cannot be considered for regularization.
14 Opposing these submissions, it has been urged on behalf of the respondent that
there was no issue as to the regularization of the respondent nor did he seek
regularisation. The contention which has been urged on behalf of the respondent is
that the appointment in the first instance was in accordance with Rule 22 of the Rules.
This was accepted in the judgment of the High Court dated 9 September 1999. Hence,
it was urged that as a matter of fact the submission of the State is misconceived.
Learned counsel submits that the Writ Petition filed by the respondent was tagged with
a group of petitions which were heard by a learned Single Judge. Even the Special
Appeal by the State was heard together with a batch of connected matters. Though by
the judgment of the Division Bench dated 5 October 2017, the plea for regularization
has been rejected, it was urged that the case of the respondent not being one of
regularization, the matter was distinct from the connected cases which were disposed
of by the Division Bench.
15 We have heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the contesting parties
and, with their assistance, perused the record.
16 The record indicates that the initial appointment of the respondent in pursuance
of the proceedings of the Departmental Selection Committee held on 24 February 1991,
was on a daily wage basis. The Minutes (Annexure P-1) categorically indicate that
against the six posts available for selection against regular vacancies, the Committee
selected six candidates and indicated the names of two more candidates having regard
to the probable vacancies which were likely to arise during the recruitment year.
However, the Selection Committee noted that the office of the District Registrar had
engaged daily wagers as registration clerks. Eleven such persons were engaged,
including the respondent. Before this Court, in the judgment which was delivered on 27
September 1995, it was asserted by the State that the respondent was not engaged on
a regular basis. The respondent contended that his appointment was on a regular
basis and not as a daily wager. This Court remanded the proceedings to the High Court
for considering whether the appointment was made in a manner consistent with Rule 22
of the Rules. The High Court, by its judgment dated 9 September 1999, concluded that
the appointment was not in breach of Rule 22 of the Rules. Consequently, the order of
termination was set aside with a direction for grant of consequential benefits. There is
no finding of fact to the effect that the appointment of the respondent was on a regular
basis. The record clearly indicates that the initial engagement was only on a daily wage
17 The services of the respondent were discontinued due to the pendency of a
criminal case. This led the respondent to institute fresh proceedings, in which, as we
have noted, there was an interim order in his favour. However, the significant fact which
emerges from the record is that, firstly, the engagement of the respondent at all material
times was only as a daily wager and, secondly, there is no order by which he was
treated to be in the regular service of the District Registrar.
18 The order by which the respondent was disengaged was challenged before the
High Court. That has culminated in the judgment of the Division Bench dated 5 October
2017 in State of U P v Raj Kumar Srivastava4. In that batch of cases, Special Appeal
385 of 2005 pertained to the respondent. This was noticed in paragraph 7 of the
judgment of the learned Single Judge dated 18 April 2014. The plea for regularization
was specifically negatived.
19 The status of the respondent at all material times has been of a daily wage
employee. He has not been appointed on a regular basis. He has no vested right to
claim regularization in service. The plea for regularisation has in fact been rejected in
the judgment of the Division Bench in Special Appeal 385 of 2005. The order of the
learned Single Judge, quashing the rejection of the representation of the respondent
dated 16 August 2011, will not amount to a mandamus to regularize the respondent or
to treat him in the regular employment of the State. All that the High Court will be
construed to have held is that once the respondent was reinstated in service following
the earlier order dated 9 September 1999, his services could not have been dispensed
with without an order of termination in accordance with law. In the absence of an order
of termination, the respondent may be treated to be in the employment of the State,
albeit on a daily wage basis.
20 We have noted the submission of the respondent that though Special Appeal 385
of 2005 instituted by the State was tagged with a batch of appeals which was disposed
of by the High Court on 5 October 2017, the respondent was not raising an issue of
4 Special Appeal No.767 of 2004
regularization and, hence, that judgment ought not to apply to his case. As at present
the judgment of the Division Bench concludes the Special Appeal instituted by the State
against the order of the learned Single Judge in the Writ Petition filed by the
21 For the above reasons, we dispose of the appeals by holding that the
engagement of the respondent is as a daily wage employee. The respondent has not
been appointed on a regular basis in the services of the State of Uttar Pradesh. Any
arrears of wages that are due and payable to the respondent on that basis shall be
computed and paid over to him within a period of three months from today. The
respondent would be entitled to arrears with effect from the date of the institution of Civil
Miscellaneous Writ Petition 67599 of 2011 before the learned Single Judge of the High
Court of Judicature at Allahabad. However, there shall be no order as to costs. Pending
applications stand disposed of.
[DR DHANANJAYA Y CHANDRACHUD]
FEBRUARY 12, 2019.