Holding that it is highly unfair for the government to keep such staff on a temporary basis for 10 to 15 years and then oust them one fine morning, thereby leaving them at lurch and abetting to commit suicide, Justice S Vaidyanathan said: “The government must ensure that there is no economic death due to unemployment and a sword of Damocles, viz. disengagement cannot be allowed to be hung on these contract employees.”
“It is not known as to why the government permitted them to work all along. If they were disengaged from services before their age-barring, at least they may have a chance to sit for competitive examinations and get some government placement. But the government has neither let them live nor die,” the judge noted. He also pointed out that if the government feels that their services are required only for a limited period, they should have been disengaged within one to two years and not after 10 to 15 years.
Justice Vaidyanathan also directed the government to regularise the services of the PWD hired contract labourers on a par with these petitioners, who have been working for the Madras High Court and Madurai Bench of Madras High Court for more than 10 years as their condition is worse than the petitioners herein.