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Govt. Employees benefit; No Discrimination When Persons Not Similarly Situated: Gujarat HC

Written By – Aishwarya Patel

The bench, which included Justice A. P. Thaker and Justice N.V. Anjaria, decided that the benefits arising from a Resolution that applies to State Government employees cannot be automatically claimed by the autonomous body’s employees. They pointed out that GSFDC is a self-governing organization that receives no funding or support from the state government.

The Court clarified that “apparent similarity” in a case does not imply legal equality.
“It is well established that a claim of discrimination cannot be sustained where the parties are not in the same situation…
The principle of equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution is more than a comparison exercise. When the Resolution in question is specifically made applicable to the employees of government departments, the concept of ready parity does not hold good.” It is not a matter of right that employees of the class belonging to statutory bodies other than government departments may claim the benefits as of right.
The Court went on to say that the term of service would not be taken into account.

The case arose as a result of a government resolution providing certain benefits to State Government employees. Employees of the autonomous body filed a claim for the benefits stipulated in the Resolution. Their claims were founded on assertions that both workers perform similar jobs and have equal lengths of service.

The court decided that employees of the class belonging to statutory entities other than government departments cannot claim the benefits after dismissing all of the petitioners’ arguments. The court distinguished between the two groups of employees by stating that both are daily rated, but they are covered by separate employer umbrellas with different personalities.

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