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The Gujarat High court has ruled that a labour court or industrial tribunal has no jurisdiction to direct regularization of a person’s service if that person is recruited without a selection process in a local authority or public body.

Hearing a case of Mahuva Nagarpalika vs Jivrajbhai Sankaliya, a single judge bench of Justice K.S. Jhaveri set aside a tribunal order which directed the Nagarpalika to regularise the services of the respondent. It noted that services of a person, who is selected without the selection process, cannot be regularised.

In the judgment made available Monday, the court opined that the tribunal committed serious error by issuing directions of regularisation.

The court considered the judgment of a full bench of the ourt, in the case of Amreli Municipality v. Gujarat Pradesh Municipal Employees Union, 2004 (3) G.L.R. 1841, wherein the judges held that the powers of labour court or industrial tribunal to direct regularisation of services of workmen in a local authority or public body can be exercised subject to recruitment rules, availability of sanctioned posts and limits of budgetary provisions.

As per the case details, the respondent was a daily wager with the Nagarpalika and worked for several years but was not given permanency. The dispute was referred to the industrial tribunal which allowed the workman’s plea and directed the Nagarpalika to regularize his services.

Being aggrieved with the award, the Nagarpalika had challenged the said order in the high court.

Justice Jhaveri said long service put in by the workmen itself may not be a ground to regularise services of ad hoc/temporary workmen against the sanctioned set up without following statutory procedure of recruitment.

He said that at the most, the labour court/industrial tribunal can issue direction for consideration of absorption subject to availability of posts in the establishment.


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