The Supreme Court has allowed an appeal by the Union government against a Uttarakhand High Court judgement that directed for regularisation of all casual paid workers in the Border Road Organisation and grant them benefits similar to the regular employees.
A bench of Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre and Dinesh Maheshwari set aside the high court's decision passed on December 5, 2016, saying it failed to see that it is not the function of the courts to frame any scheme but it is the sole prerogative of the government to do so.
Examining the Centre's appeal against the judgement passed on a writ petition by All India Trade Union Congress and others, the top court said, "it is not in dispute that the Union government has now framed a welfare scheme for all such casual workers."
After hearing senior advocates Ajit K Sinha for the Union government and Colin Gonsalves for AITUC, the bench said the instant issue related to the casual workers in the BRO was already examined by the top court in 2014 in case of 'Union of India Vs Vartak Labour Union'.
The court had then directed, "where the workers have been consistently engaged in service for the past thirty to forty years, of course with short breaks, the Union government, we feel, would consider enacting an appropriate regulation/scheme for absorption and regularisation of the services of the casual workers engaged by the BRO for execution of its ongoing projects."
The High Court, in our view, should have, therefore, examined the case in the light of the law laid down by this court rather than to evolve its own separate scheme, the bench added.