Wednesday, Nov 19, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
An order to this effect was passed by a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court presided over by the Chief Justice, V.N. Khare, when the case filed by the Hubli-based Karnataka State Government Daily Wage Employees' Federation (KSGDWEF) came up before the court today.
The orders followed the submission made by Mukund Rohtagi, Additional Solicitor General, on behalf of the State Government. Murali Bhandare, counsel for the federation, stated that Article 21 of the Constitution pertaining to right to life and livelihood deserved to be taken note of.
Thanks to the judgment given by the Supreme Court in 1990 in a case, known in the legal circles as the Dharwad case, filed by one of the affiliates of the KSGDWEF, around 60,000 daily wage employees of the State Government who had completed 10 years of service as on July 1, 1984 were regularised. The KSGDWEF has now taken up the question of regularising the services of around 17,000 employees appointed after that date.
K.S. Sharma, President of the KSGDWEF, told The Hindu from New Delhi that the move would help lay down the law on regularisation of daily wage employees once and for all, which would be helpful not only to Karnataka but also other States faced with a similar situation.
The State Government, which earlier promised to take a suitable decision on regularisation without waiting for the judgment of the Supreme Court and got six months' time for the purpose, finally remitted the issue back to the Supreme Court on the basis of the recommendation made by a two-member Cabinet subcommittee headed by the Home Minister, Mallikarjun Kharge.
One of the grounds adduced for turning down the request for regularisation was that such a move would affect the constitutional provision of reservation for Scheduled Castes.
The KSGDWEF, on the other hand, has denied that it would affect reservation and maintained that the number of employees regularised would more than meet the percentage fixed by the Constitution for reservation.
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