Read Order: Radha Rani v. State of Haryana and Others

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, February 28, 2022: While rejecting the reinstatement plea of a Vocational Teacher appointed in a Government School through an Outsourcing Agency, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that no privity of contract exists between the petitioner and respondents. 

The Bench of Justice Lisa Gill asserted that this issue was squarely settled by this Court in Nishan Singh and others Vs. State of Punjab and others, 2014(1) SCT 33 wherein it was held that a service provider entered into an agreement with the State agency to provide workforce on certain terms and conditions and they selected the candidates and supplied the same to the Government Department. 

It was also held that a service provider was not an agency of the State to make recruitment against the civil posts and that the acceptance of the claim of the appellants shall amount to back door entry to public employment in total disregard to the mandate of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. 

The present Writ petition was filed by the petitioner seeking a direction to the respondents to reinstate the petitioner on the post of Vocational Teacher (B&W) w.e.f. August 24, 2013, with all consequential service benefits, including continuity of service, salary, back wages etc. 

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the petitioner was working as a Vocational Teacher/ Trainer at a School from September 2, 2013, till October 18, 2016. It was further submitted that the petitioner’s services were dispensed with  October 18, 2016, in an unjustified manner even though her work and conduct were always to the satisfaction of the authorities. Lastly, the Counsel argued that even though the petitioner was appointed through an outsourcing agency, there was privity of contract between the school and the petitioner as the petitioner was working for the school. 

The Court did not find substance in the argument of the petitioner’s counsel on privity of contract. It was opined by the Court in this regard, “Privity of contract clearly does not exist between the petitioner and respondents. Though, learned counsel for the petitioner while referring to the experience certificate (Annexure P-5) issued by Girls Government Senior Secondary School, Railway Road, Karnal, submits that as the petitioner was working for the Government Girls Secondary School, Railway Road, Karnal, therefore, privity of contract does exist between the present parties, I do not find any merit in the arguments raised by learned counsel for the petitioner for the reason that the controversy in hand stands conclusively settled.”

Reference in this regard was also made to the case of Anmol Garg and another v. State of Punjab and others, CWP No.29655 of 2018 wherein it was held, “Learned Single Judge finding that the appellant was an employee of outsourcing agency which was having a license under the contract to supply manpower held there was no privity of contract between the appellant and the employer and she was not even a contractual employee. The principle being canvassed before us applies only in case there is a privity of contract between the employee and the employer. In the case in hand, the appellant was an employee of the service provider. The benefit of the said principle is not liable to be extended to her and, thus, we do not find any illegality committed by learned Single Judge in dismissing the writ petition.” 

Thus, in this light, the petition was dismissed. 

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