Cannot terminate temporary staff without proper enquiry: J&K&L HC

The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ruled that even temporary employees are protected by Article 311 of the Constitution, and hence, they cannot be terminated without giving them proper reasons

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The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has ruled that as per Article 311 of the Indian Constitution, even temporary employees are protected. That is, they cannot be terminated without conducting a thorough enquiry.

In the said case, as reported by Live Law, the petitioner was terminated without being given an opportunity of being heard. Therefore, the bench consisting of Justice Mohan Lal held that the termination order by the CRPF is “unsustainable”.

The petitioner was terminated with effect from 27 April, 2002. The respondents (CRPF) argued that the petitioner was appointed purely on a temporary basis and therefore, he could be terminated at any time and that there was no need for giving him a reason for termination. They argued that these conditions were stated in the “offer of appointment for the post of Constable” that was given to the petitioner at the time of joining. Also, they pointed out that this ‘offer letter’ was willingly accepted by the petitioner.

The petitioner’s lawyer argued that CRPF did not issue any notice to the petitioner. Instead, he was directly issued the termination. That means, the petitioner was not given the right of service, and CRPF also failed to conduct an enquiry or give any reason to the petitioner for the termination of his services.

Merely stating that the petitioner’s service is no longer required is not enough. The petitioner’s counsel demanded that the petitioner be told the reason why his services were not required. Also, it was observed that CRPF had erroneously applied Rule 5 of the Temporary Rules 1965, whereas the petitioner should have been governed by Rule 16 of the CRPF Act.

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