HC orders Commercial Taxes Dept to regularise jobs of 75 data entry operators

Bhubaneswar: In a major relief to the 75 data entry operators and junior programmers working on contractual basis in the Department of Commercial Taxes, the Orissa High Court has upheld the order of the Odisha Administrative Tribunal (OAT) for regularisation of their jobs.

As per reports, the Commercial Taxes department had initially engaged the data entry operators and junior programmers in 2005 on outsourcing basis and later they were appointed on an annual contract basis with effect from September 17, 2013.

The General Administration department had also issued an order for regular appointment of the existing contractual Group C and Group D employees in 2013.

However, as the jobs of the aforesaid employees were not regularised, they moved the OAT, which as per an order dated May 17, 2017, had directed the State government to issue a formal order of regular appointment in favour of the petitioners.

The government, however, challenged the order of the OAT in the Orissa High Court claiming,

Persons whose initial appointment was on outsourcing basis cannot come under the regular establishment because no open and transparent recruitment procedure has been adopted.

After hearing both the parties, the court upheld the order of the OAT stating,

Whatever may be the mode of engagement/appointment, there was concurrence of the Finance Department and the employees in question were engaged in different Department of the Government and rendered their services uninterruptedly….But, surprisingly, after utilizing their services for more than a decade, when question of bringing them under regular establishment arises, they (employees) have been pushed into a corner.

“The litigants had filed a case for regularisation of their jobs. As the government had not regularised their jobs, they had moved the Tribunal which gave a judgement in their favour. A year later, the government challenged the order of the Tribunal in the High Court which was dismissed on May 10, 2017,” said advocate Atul Tripathy.