Explain why Punjab and Haryana High Court staff not be placed on par with government employees: Bench
In a significant order liable to put an end to disadvantages faced by the Punjab and Haryana High Court employees, a Bench today directed the Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, along with Adviser to the UT Administrator, to file specific affidavits and explain why employees of the high court be not placed on a par with the government employees in the matter of “‘non-cadre specific’ benefits made available by the governments to their own employees”.
The directions by Justice Rajbir Sehrawat came on a petition filed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Employees’ Welfare Association.
Justice Sehrawat asserted the main prayer for participation in a tournament had been rendered infructuous as it had already been held. But other prayers in the petition related “important and unresolved issues”. Justice Sehrawat asserted the judiciary was an integral part of the ‘state’ as a constitutional entity under the Constitution of India. The employees of the high court establishment were to be governed by the rules framed by the competent authority in the matter of cadre rights and entitlements in view of the principle of separation of powers.
Justice Sehrawat observed, “Therefore, the employees of the high court establishment cannot be excluded from the benefits, which the employees of the state governments are entitled to. In the matter of ‘non-cadre specific’ benefits, they also deserve to be treated on a par with the employees of the respective governments of the states within the jurisdiction of this court, as well as, on a par with employees of the Union of India.”
Justice Sehrawat added it would be presumed the governments did not have any opposition to treat the high court staff on a par with other employees if the affidavit was not filed well before the next date.