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Delhi High Court rejects plea of 97 persons seeking regular employment on completion of apprenticeship

4 June 2022

Delhi High Court rejects plea of 97 persons seeking regular employment on completion of the apprenticeship

Justice Rekha Palli  hearing a petition from 97 petitioners who employed as accounts apprentices by a;  general insurance business; National Insurance Company Limited, but wanted to be absorbed as;  administrative officers (grade I) once their apprenticeship contract completed.

“The petitioners admittedly taken in as apprentices, and they cannot claim that; they are akin to regular employees, or that; the period of apprenticeship should be treated; as a probation period, simply because their; apprenticeship extended in accordance with the advertisement,” the judgement stated.

Petitioners’ grounds

– Their superior officers regularly complimented them on their; performance during their apprenticeship training at the respondent company.

– Their apprenticeship period  first extended until December 31, 2021, and then again until June 30, 2022.

– Despite representations to the respondents seeking their;  absorption, no steps  taken to regularise their services;

Respondents’ case

– Petitioners clearly informed that; there  no obligation on the respondent They cannot claim that; they are required to be absorbed by the respondent firm, even if; the respondent company has no need for such executives.

– Neither the appointment letter nor the surety bond provided by the petitioners stated that; the petitioners any reciprocal responsibilities to serve the respondent company after their; apprenticeship time completed;

Section 22 (1) of the Apprentices Act, 1961, grants the employer the authority to develop its own policy for the recruitment of any apprentice who has finished his or her apprenticeship in the employer’s establishment.

– Although it suggested by way of a communication on February 4, 2022—granting the petitioners the second and final extension

-petitioners exercised their own discretion in continuing with their; apprenticeship training rather than; looking for alternate career opportunities;

– Merely because the Chairman wrote to the Ministry of Finance to relax the bar on fresh recruitment; does not create any estoppel against the respondents from deciding not to fill the post

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