While rejecting the claim of the persons who were sought to be regularized and who had taken a shelter of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, it was held that the right to employment could not be denuded by preferring those who have got in casually or those who have come through the back door. It was accordingly held that Articles 14, 16 & 309 are there to ensure that public employment is given in a fair and equitable manner and a set of persons cannot be preferred over a vast majority of people. Relevant portions of the judgment reads as under:
“40. It is contended that the State action in not regularizing the employees was not fair within the framework of the rule of law. The rule of law compels the State to make appointments as envisaged by the Constitution and in the manner we have indicated earlier. In most of these cases, no doubt, the employees had worked for some length of time but this has also been brought about by the pendency of proceedings in Tribunals and courts initiated at the instance of the employees. Moreover, accepting an argument of this nature would mean that the State would be permitted to perpetuate an illegality in the matter of public employment and that would be a negation of the constitutional scheme adopted by us, the people of India. It is therefore not possible to accept the argument that there must be a direction to make permanent all the persons employed on daily wages. When the court is approached for relief by way of a writ, the court has necessarily to ask itself whether the person before it had any legal right to be enforced. Considered in the light of the very clear constitutional scheme, it cannot be said that the employees have been able to establish a legal right to be made permanent even though they have never been appointed in terms of the relevant rules or in adherence of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.
xxxx xxxx xxxx
42. The argument that the right to life protected by Article 21 of the Constitution of India would include the right to employment cannot also be accepted at this juncture. The law is dynamic and our Constitution is a living document. May be at some future point of time, the right to employment can also be brought in under the concept of right to life or even included as a fundamental right. The new statute is perhaps a beginning. As things now stand, the acceptance of such a plea at the instance of the employees before us would lead to the consequence of depriving a large number of other aspirants of an opportunity to compete for the post or employment. Their right to employment, if it is a part of right to life, would stand denuded by the preferring of those who have got in casually or those who have come through the back door. The obligation cast on the State under Article 39(a) of the Constitution of India is to ensure that all citizens equally have the right to adequate means of livelihood. It will be more consistent with that policy if the courts recognize that an appointment to a post in government service or in the service of its instrumentalities, can only be by way of a proper selection in the manner recognized by the relevant legislation in the context of the relevant provisions of the Constitution. In the name of individualizing justice, it is also not possible to shut our eyes to the constitutional scheme and the right of the numerous as against the few who are before the court. The Directive Principles of State Policy have also to be reconciled with the rights available to the citizen under Part III of the Constitution and the obligation of the State to one and all and not to a particular group of citizens. We, therefore, overrule the argument based on Article 21 of the Constitution.”
Secretary of State Government of Karnataka v. Uma Devi , (2006)4 SCC 1