The Allahabad High Court observed that the non-payment of salary to Multipurpose Health Workers (MPHW) for the period they have served under the interim order passed by the Court violates Article 23 of the Constitution.

A Single Bench of Justice Manish Kumar observed, “In the present case, the interim order has been granted by this court which is quoted in the preceding paragraph in favour of the petitioners permitting them to continue and the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Ram Chet Verma and others Vs. the State of U.P. and others (2020) 3 SCT 640 (SC) has held that if the petitioners have served, as per the interim order, obviously they have to be paid the salary for the period they have rendered their services. Non payment of salary to them for the period they have served under the interim order or otherwise would tantamount to taking begar from them, which is prohibited under Article 23 of the Constitution of India.”

Senior Advocate Sandeep Dixit represented the petitioners while Senior Advocate S.B. Pandey and Additional Advocate General Kuldeep Pati Tripathi represented the respondents.

Brief Facts -

All the writ petitions had almost identical prayers and in one of the petitions, the prayer was to issue a writ, order, or direction in the nature of Certiorari quashing the orders in respect of the services of the petitioners and the salary/honorarium to Multipurpose Workers (MPWs). It was further prayed to command the respondents to allow the petitioners to continue on the post of MPWs/MPHW till the continuation of the National Rural Health Mission Scheme and other related schemes launched by the Government of India and to pay them their salary/honorarium as and when the same accrues along with their arrears.

It was also prayed to issue directions to the respondents to fill up the posts of Health Worker (Male) after initiating the regular process of selection for appointment as per the Service Rules, 1997 as amended in the year 1998 and provide preference to the petitioners in appointment and during training on account of their length of service and the nature of job and duties being same after granting required age relaxation in accordance with relevant rules and Government Order.

The High Court in view of the above prayers made by the petitioners noted, “The scheme would become functional only after the appointments were made which can only be taken as the date of the period of implementation of scheme and the undefined three years of scheme and this period of three years would end in the case of the petitioners, who were appointed in the year 2012 would be 2015 and the petitioners who were appointed in the year 2013 in their case, it would be 2016.”

The Court further said that the State Government was required to create the requisite number of posts and fill up on regular basis but no such exercise was done.

“The purpose of filling up the vacancy on regular basis is for giving continuity to these MPHWs (Male)/petitioners and they may maintained after the end of scheme/expiry of three years period. On the contrary, the letter was issued by the State Government on 04.02.2016 directing the C.M.O.s of the State of U.P. not to take work from these petitioners/MPHWs (Male) and if they will be permitted then the officer concerned will be liable personally. This direction by the State Government is against the interim order dated 25.03.2014 granted by this Court and that too on the stay vacation application preferred for vacating the interim order dated 25.03.2014, no orders have been passed by this Court vacating the order. When the stay order is in operation, then there was no occasion to issue such letters. The C.M.O.s are bound to comply with the orders passed by this Court and not the order issued by the authorities contrary to the orders of this Court”, it added.

The Court observed that Article 23 of the Constitution has wider implications and scope regrading beggar i.e., by taking work but not paying for the same which is linked with right to livelihood covered under Article 21 of the Constitution.

“… the Central Government intended that the MPHWs (Male) may be absorbed on regular basis by creating posts. In such circumstances, the State cannot refuse to pay to the MPHWs (Male) till the date they worked. If the work was taken then they must be paid salary for the same”, it also said.

The Court noted that Clause 3.1 of the Guidelines, 2010 provides for matching grant by the Government of India and State Government for the purpose of payment salaries to the MPHWs (Male). Therefore, it directed the Central and State Government to ensure the payment to the petitioners who were working till the period they had completed three years of service from the date of their initial appointment within a period of two months.

“For the period beyond three years petitioners shall be paid by the State Government till they had actually worked . The State Government shall make payment within a period of two months from the date of production of certified copy of this order after verification of 394 MPHWs (Male) of their actual working”, it further directed.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the petition.

Cause Title- Shiv Pratap Maurya And 667 Ors. v. State of U.P. (Neutral Citation: 2024:AHC-LKO:24472)


Petitioners: Senior Advocate Sandeep Dixit and Advocate Vidhu Bhushan Kalia.

Respondents: Senior Advocate S.B. Pandey, Additional Advocate General Kuldeep Pati Tripathi, Advocates Mahendra Kumar Mishra, and Puneet Chandra.

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