New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the decisions of High Courts of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana and Himachal Pradesh that the services of Home Guards in these three states cannot regularized.
“In the cases before us though some of the Home Guards (Grah Rakshak) produced their appointment letters to show that they are serving as Platoon Havaldar for 10 to 28 years, we find that they have been enrolled and there is no appointment on regular basis.
“They have never been paid salary/wages and there is no provision to make any payment of salary/wages other than the duty allowance and other allowances,” a bench of justices S J Mukhopadhaya and N V Ramana said.
Dismissing the plea seeking regularization of services by various Home Guards and their associations, the bench said that the state laws, relating to employing Home Guards, do not provide for the regular employment in such cases.
“In view of the discussion …, no relief can be granted to the appellants either regularization of services or grant of regular appointments hence no interference is called for against the judgements passed by the Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi High Courts.
“However, taking into consideration the fact that Home Guards are used during the emergency and for other purposes and at the time of their duty they are empowered with the power of police personnel, we are of the view that the State Government should pay them the duty allowance at such rates, total of which 30 days (a month) comes to minimum of the pay to which the police personnel of State are entitled,” it said.
The bench asked the three state governments to pass appropriate orders on payment of allowance and asked them to treat Home Guards at par with regular police personnel.
The apex court was dealing with the question as to whether Home Guards of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi are regular appointees in the “cadre/services of Home Guards” and if not whether they are entitled for regularization of their services.