Chandigarh, August 12, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the staff of Government aided colleges are not employees of the Government and therefore, they cannot as a matter of right claim benefits of scheme of financial assistance.
The bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karmajit Singh passed these directions while hearing the appeal filed by Haryana Private Colleges Non-Teaching Employees that sought benefit of ex-gratia scheme for grant of compassionate assistance to the families of deceased employees of government aided private colleges of Haryana.
The bench noted that the scheme in question is called the Haryana Civil Services (Compassionate Financial Assistance or Appointment) Rules, 2019. The same came into force on 1.8.2019. The object of these Rules is to grant compassionate financial assistance or appointment to the family of a Government employee who dies or disappears while in service, consequently to relieve his family from financial distress.
“After going through the said rules, it is clear that they are applicable only to the family of a Government employee who while working on regular basis dies while in service. The Rules of 2019 repealed the previous Rules of 2006. Even the Rules of 2006 were applicable only to the family of deceased Government employee,” the Bench said.
It noted that it was within the right of the state government to extend the aforesaid Rules of 2019 to the employees of Government aided private colleges. “But as has been rightly observed by the learned Single Judge, the appellant has failed to draw the attention of this court to any conscious decision taken by the Government to extend the benefit of the 2019 rules to the employees of the privately managed affiliated colleges,” the bench noted.
“Further the appellant has also relied upon letters dated 20.7.1982 and 2.8.1993 to avail the ex-gratia scheme. The said letters are not of any help to the appellant, the reason being subsequent thereto the Haryana Government in 2006 framed specific rules for grant of compassionate financial assistance appointment. Later on the Rules of 2006 were succeeded by the Rules of 2019. Both these rules are applicable only to the family of deceased Government employee as has been discussed earlier,” the bench observed.
It further added that the judicial citations referred by the counsel for appellant are not helpful to the appellant in advancing its case. Vikas Sharma vs State of Haryana & Ors. referred by the counsel for the appellant is relating employee of aided college who died on 24.6.2003, prior to coming into force of Rules of 2006. Even otherwise the said judgment was passed on the basis of its own facts and circumstances and as such does not advance the case of the appellant, the High Court said.
The Bench noted that the other cases referred to by the appellant’s counsel — Najmussabah v. State Of Bihar And Ors and Bhuvaneshwar Upadhyay v. Kesharwani Higher Secondary School — relate to the states of Bihar (Jharkhand) and Madhya Pradesh respectively and both the said cases were based on the Rules / Circulars applicable to the respective States.
“In the light of the above, we find no reason to differ with the conclusion arrived at by the learned Single Judge. Consequently, the present appeal is hereby dismissed being devoid of merits,” the bench ruled.