The State of Nagaland & Ors Versus Nishevi Achumi

The State of Nagaland & Ors Versus Nishevi Achumi  

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4223 of 2022 
                                                                                               
The State of Nagaland & Ors.             ...Appellants 
Versus
Nishevi Achumi          …Respondent
J U D G M E N T 
M. R. Shah, J.
1.   Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned
Judgment and Order dated 19.04.2021 passed by the High
Court of Gauhati at Kohima in Writ Appeal No.21 of 2019 by
which the Division Bench of the High Court has dismissed the
said appeal and has confirmed the judgment and order passed
by the learned Single Judge directing the appellant – State to
regularize   the   services   of   the   deceased   husband   of   the
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respondent from one day earlier to his death and thereafter to
pay   the   family   pension   to   the   Respondent,   the   State   has
preferred the present appeal.
2. The deceased husband of the respondent was working as
work­charge Jugali.   He died in harness on 28.08.2005 as
work­charge employee.   That in the year 2017 and after a
period   of   twelve   years   from   the   death   of   the   deceased
employee,   the   respondent   herein   the   widow/wife   of   the
deceased   employee   filed   a   writ   petition   before   the   learned
Single Judge claiming that the services of her late husband
ought to have been regularized and therefore, she is entitled to
the family pension.  The learned Single Judge allowed the said
writ petition and directed the appellant – State to regularize
his services from one day prior to the date of his demise so
that the respondent herein – original writ petitioner and her
family members are entitled to pensionary benefits.  
2.1 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment and
order passed by the learned Single Judge, the appellant –
State had preferred the appeal before the Division Bench of
the High Court.   By the impugned judgment and order the
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Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   has   dismissed   the   said
appeal and has not interfered with the judgment and order
passed by the learned Single Judge regularizing the services of
the   respondent’s   husband   one   day   prior   to   his   demise.
Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment and order passed by the Division Bench of the High
Court and not interfering with the judgment and order passed
by   the   learned   Single   Judge,   the   State   has   preferred   the
present appeal.  Though served nobody appears on behalf of
the respondent.
3. Ms.   K.   Enatoli   Sema,   learned   counsel   appearing   on
behalf   of   the   State   has   vehemently   submitted   that   the
impugned   judgment   and   order   passed   by   the   High   Court
directing the appellant – State to regularize the services of the
deceased employee one day prior to his demise is absolutely
unsustainable.  She has made the following submissions:
(i) That during his life time, the deceased employee
never claimed regularization;
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(ii) That the respondent ­ original petitioner ­ widow
claimed regularization after a period of twelve years
from the death of the deceased employee;
(iii) Even   otherwise   the   deceased   employee   was   not
entitled to regularization even on the date of his
death as he was much below in the seniority list
and his turn had not come for regularization;
3.1 Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the State has
further submitted that assuming that the services of the workcharge employee were required to be regularized in that case
also   as   per   the   scheme   the   services   of   the   work­charge
employee were to be regularized as per seniority and as and
when the vacancy arises.  It is submitted that all those workcharge employees whose services were regularized was much
after the death of the deceased employee and that too as per
the seniority.  It is submitted that therefore at the time of the
death of the deceased employee he was much below in the
seniority list and therefore his services were not required to be
regularized as his turn had not come.   It is submitted that
therefore   the   High   Court   has   committed   a   grave   error   in
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directing   the   appellant   to   regularize   the   services   of   the
appellant one day prior to his death.
Making   above   submissions   it   is   prayed   to   allow   the
present appeal.
4. Having   heard   learned   counsel   for   the   State   and
considering the submissions made on behalf of the State and
having gone through the judgment and order passed by the
learned Single Judge confirmed by the Division Bench, we are
of the firm opinion that the High Court has committed a grave
error in directing the appellant to regularize the services of the
deceased employee one day prior to his death.
4.1 It is required to be noted that the deceased employee
died in the year 2005.  During his lifetime he never claimed
any regularization.  That the respondent herein – original writ
petitioner   ­   wife   of   the   deceased   employee   claimed   the
regularization after a period of twelve years from the death of
the   deceased   employee.     At   the   time   of   the   death   of   the
deceased employee he was not entitled to regularization as he
was much below in the list of the worked charge employees
whose   services   were   to   be   regularized.     Under   the
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Regularization   Policy   the   services   of   the   work­charge
employees were required to be regularized as per the seniority
and as and when the vacancy arises.  The services of the other
work­charge employees even who were senior to the deceased
employees were regularized in the year 2009 i.e. after the
death of the deceased employee.  Despite the above, the High
Court has directed the State to regularize the services of the
deceased   employee   one   day   prior   to   his   death,   which
otherwise his services were not required to be regularized as
his   turn   had   not   come   and   he   was   much   below   in   the
seniority list.
4.2 Considering the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the
impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court is
unsustainable and the same deserves to be quashed and set
aside.
5. In view of the above and for the reason stated above
present appeal is allowed.  The impugned judgment and order
passed by the Division Bench of the High Court as well as the
learned   Single   Judge   is   hereby   quashed   and   set   aside.
Consequently, the original writ petition filed by respondent ­
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wife   herein   stands   dismissed.     However,   in   the   facts   and
circumstances of the case there shall be no order as to costs.
…………………………………J.
             (M. R. SHAH)
…………………………………J.
                                                  (B.V. NAGARATHNA)
New Delhi, 
July 11, 2022.
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