The Madras High Court bench here on Friday ruled that the regularisation of sanitary workers employed by the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department as per a government order (G.O.) issued on April 30, 1997, would take effect only from February 23, 2006.

The ruling was issued by a full bench comprising Justices M. Jaichandren, S. Nagamuthu and M. Venugopal, constituted to consider whether the service regularisation of the sanitary workers would be in effect from the time of their initial appointment or after completion of three years of service.

Originally, a batch of writs were filed before a single judge by the sanitary workers from the Madurai Corporation and Nagercoil Municipality seeking regularisation of their services from the time of completion of three years of service and seeking payment of arrears and other consequential benefits.

According to the petitioners, they were appointed as sanitary workers on a consolidated pay based on a G.O. issued on April 30, 1997. As per the G.O., the recruits appointed in 1998 and 1999 would work under a consolidated pay scale for three years and on completion of three years, the government would consider regularising their service and providing them time-scale pay, the petitioners submitted.

But, the government did not consider regularising their services after completion of three years and regularised them only from February 23, 2006, they pointed out.

In their order, the judges observed: “The government had an option to examine the question of regularisation, which the government did only in 2006 and it is the wisdom of the government to give regularisation from any date. As per the G.O., it is fallacious to contend that on completion of three years from the date of initial appointment, such appointed sanitary workers shall be regularised.”

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