Malafide cannot be attributed to a legislation : SC

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New Delhi, Dec 26 (UNI) The Supreme Court has ruled that any law made by the legislature cannot be challenged on the grounds that it is malafide.

A bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and Harjit Singh Bedi, while setting aside the judgement of Gujarat High Court, said, ''Malafide cannot be attributed to a legislation. It is only its validity that can be challenged. In these cases, validity of the rules were not under challenge.

The Gujarat High Court, in our opinion, therefore, committed a fundamental error in opinioning otherwise, failing to notice that when casual labour has been excluded from the definition of permanent or temporary employee, then with temporary status, he could not have become so and there is no legal sanction, therefore.

It is for the legislature to put the employees to an establishment in different categories.

It may create a new category to confer certain benefits to a particular class of employees and such a power can be exercised also by the executive for making rules under the provison appended to Article 309 of the Constitution.'' The ruling came on an appeal filed by the General Manager, North West Railways, challenging the Rajasthan and Gujarat High Courts' judgement, dated April 25, 2005, directing payment of family pension to the widows of two temporary labour employed by the Railways.

The apex court said, ''Recruitment of government employees must be made strictly in terms of the statutory rules. Entitlements of the employees being governed by Statute, the question of attribution of any malice in our opinion by the Gujarat High Court was clearly erroneous." The apex court, however, directed that in case respondent number one has been given any benefit including family pension, the same shall not be recovered.

Santosh is the widow of Ramniwas of Jaipur while Chanda Devi was of another employee, both temporary casual labours.

The apex court added, ''What was protected by conferring temporary status upon a casual employee was his service and by reason, thereof, the pension rules were not made applicable. A worker had not been and could not have been given a status to which was not entitled to (status of a regular employee).'' UNI AKS SC GL AS1902

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