The Kerala High Court has held that the contractual staff can’t be sacked for poor performance without prior notice.
The appellants were appointed as the Attender and Part-Time Sweeper at the dispensary in Mananthavady. However, The appointments to the post were done after due selection.
The court has set aside an order from the Department of Urban Affairs of the State government in July 2022 for terminating the services of the two petitioners.
However, The contracts were removed for the petitioner on the ground that their work was “unsatisfactory”. The two contractual employees challenged their removal in the High Court.
The court was also informed that orders were issued regarding the continuance of temporary employees and contract appointees during the COVID period.
The court Orders: Regarding this case the court passed the following finding:-
Justice Anu Sivaraman said that if the primary reason for termination was an unsatisfactory performance the contractual employees should be entitled to notice regarding it.
“Even in case the contention of the respondents is that the petitioners were not appointed after the full process of selection was carried out, it is not in dispute that they have been continuing in service on a contract basis from 2010 and 2016 onwards, and the contention that they can be sent out of service on the specific ground of unsatisfactory performance without any notice or finding to that effect, according to me, is perversive,” it said.
The Court said it is not in dispute that the petitioners were contract employees and that they did not have any claim for permanent appointment under the Panchayat. However, the question was with respect to their claim for continuance.
“However, this will not stand in the way of the municipality to take appropriate action against them in accordance with law after issuing due notice,” the court said.