A division bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice RC Khulbe on Thursday quashed the order of the single-bench to reinstate the dismissed ad-hoc employees and upheld Speaker Ritu Khanduri’s order in this regard.
The state assembly secretariat had filed a special appeal before the division bench challenging the single bench order.
The court said the order of dismissal cannot be stayed.
On behalf of the Legislative Assembly Secretariat, it was said that these appointments were made on a temporary basis and their services can be terminated at any time without notice, as per the rules.
The high court on Thursday heard the special appeals filed by the Vidhan Sabha challenging the single-bench’s order of reinstatement of the employees dismissed from the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly Secretariat.
Some of the dismissed employees had challenged the Speaker’ order before a single-bench of the high court earlier, saying their sacking was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.
Commenting on the division bench’s order, Speaker Ritu Khanduri said it was a victory of justice.
The ad-hoc appointments had been revoked by the Speaker on the recommendation of a probe panel of experts following allegations that they had been made through the “back door”.
Khanduri had on September 23 revoked 228 ad hoc appointments to the state assembly on the recommendation of the committee.
The panel was set up following charges of favouritism in the appointments including 150 made till 2016, six made in 2020 and 72 in 2021.
However, a single-bench of the high court on October 15 put a stay on the Speaker’s order after 102 employees who had lost their jobs went to court challenging the decision.
Counsel for the petitioners Avtar Singh Rawat had argued that the speaker’s order was “cryptic” and did not explain the reasons why their services had been revoked.
Not only that, employees who lost their jobs were not given a chance to present their side, he said.