Read Order: Mazid v. State of Haryana and Others 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, February 22, 2022: While deciding the plea of a contractual employee whose services were terminated, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that it had its own reservation in granting indulgence in matters of contractual appointments by the State, as the same was made without making the employees participate in any competition and/ or selection process on the basis of merits.

The Bench of Justice Arun Monga also added that the contractual employees are simply handpicked in the garb of a contract by not granting an opportunity to those who may be far more meritorious and therefore the Court refrained from interfering in the domain of the employer’s discretion to engage employees.

The grievance of the petitioner, in a nutshell, was that he was appointed as a Data Entry Operator in the department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Jind through outsourcing services in the year 2021, however, by the impugned order, the Deputy Director, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Jind terminated his services without affording any opportunity of hearing. Therefore, the petitioner sought the issuance of a writ in the nature of certiorari to quash the impugned order.

Contrary to the case advanced by the petitioner’s counsel, the State counsel strenuously opposed the petition on the ground of maintainability by contending that the Writ Petition was not maintainable not only because the petitioner was a contractual employee, but also because he ought to have invoked other civil remedies which were available to him. 

The Court observed that concededly, the petitioner’s services were hired on a contract and the petitioner served only for a period of three months. Further, the Court opined that it was the prerogative of an employer to continue and/or discontinue the contractual services in terms of the contract. Thus, because the case involved a matter of a contract, the Court opined that it ought not to exercise its extraordinary writ jurisdiction. 

The petition was dismissed with liberty to the petitioner to seek civil remedy as may otherwise be available in law.

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