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Government staff have no lien over temporary posts: court

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madras High Court has ruled that over 4.13 lakh government servants working in temporary posts cannot claim lien over the posts they were occupying.

Rule 9(13) of the Fundamental Rules governing their service conditions defined ‘lien’ as the right of a government servant to hold a post, to which he or she was appointed, after termination of the period of absence for a long time for reasons such as deputation to other departments.

The Rules defined permanent posts as those carrying a definite rate of pay sanctioned without any limit of time. On the other hand, temporary posts were created in government departments for a limited period and extended periodically.

Justice S. Nagamuthu rejected the contention that temporary posts should be considered as permanent posts for the purpose of lien because 39 per cent of 10,67,975 government servants were working in temporary posts as per statistics for 2004-05.

“It is true that 39 per cent of the government servants are appointed in temporary posts. But, since it is the policy decision of the government, this court cannot transgress into the powers of the government to make any tangible law,” the judge said.

He pointed out that Rule 12-A of the Fundamental Rules firmly stated that a government servant could acquire lien only in a permanent post or tenure post (a permanent post which an individual might not hold for more than a limited period).

On the Government Order issued by the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department on July 5, 1994, that lien could be claimed even to hold a temporary post, the judge said an executive order cannot override statutory rules.

In the present case, a woman Personal Assistant with the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SDRC) had sought to quash a government order reverting a male P.A. in the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes Commission to the post she was holding.

Allowing the writ petition filed by the woman, Mr. Justice Nagamuthu held that the male P.A. could not claim lien over the post held by him earlier at the SDRC because it was a temporary post created for a year and extended periodically.

Even assuming that there was any lien, it ought to have got snapped since the male P.A. was appointed in a permanent post at the Backward Classes Commission, he said, and directed the Backward Classes Welfare Department to restore his service.

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