Contractual Employees Cannot Be Terminated Without Due Notice Of Termination- Kerala High Court
The Kerala High Court recently held that contractual employees, before they were terminated, they were entitled to be issued a notice with regard to the unsatisfactory performance of their service.
The Bench of Justice Anu Sivaraman observed that “even though the petitioners are contractual employees, they were entitled to a notice with regard to the unsatisfactory nature of their service and their services could have been terminated only on a finding being rendered on the same.”
In this case, the writ petition was preferred by two contractual labourers who were appointed as attender and part-time sweeper in the Ayush NHM Homeo Dispensary, Mananthavady and their services were terminated by the employer as per his whims and fancies.
Advocate Kaleeswaram Raj appearing for the petitioner submitted that the petitioners were appointed after a due selection process as attender and part-time sweeper in the Ayush NHM Homeo Dispensary, Mananthavady and were not back door entrants.
It was submitted that the petitioners had earlier also approached the court against the termination and relied on several government orders related to contractual appointment. However, the order was passed terminating the services of the petitioners on the ground that the Government Orders relied on by the petitioners were not applicable.
CGC Santharam P. appearing for the respondent no. 5-Municipality, contended that the petitioners were only contractual employees and that they did not have any indefeasible right to continue in service and that they had no vested right in the said post or to seek permanency of their service.
The Court observed that the primary reason for termination of the petitioner’s services was that their services were found to be unsatisfactory and noted that “If that be so, even though the petitioners are contractual employees, they were entitled to a notice with regard to the unsatisfactory nature of their service and their services could have been terminated only on a finding being rendered on the same.”
The Court further observed that the petitioners had been in service on contract basis from 2010 and 2016 onwards and the contention raised that they could be sent out of service on the specific ground of unsatisfactory performance without any notice or finding to that effect, was perversive.
Consequently, the Court set aside the order terminating them and directed the concerned authorities to permit the petitioners to continue in service as contractual employees in the Manathavady Municipality and said that however, this would not stand in the way of the municipality to take an appropriate action against them in accordance with law after issuing due notice.
Accordingly, the writ petition was allowed.
Cause Title- Tintu K & anr. v. Union of India & Ors.