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Judgments (Labour & Industrial Law)

Iswarlal Mohanlal Thakkar vs Paschim Gujarat VIJ Company Limited and another  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 16 Apr 2014]

Mallamma (Dead) by Lrs. vs National Insurance Company Limited and others  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 07 Apr 2014]
Carriers & Transportation - Insurance - Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, s.157 - Accidental death - Non payment of compensation by insurance company - Maintainability - Appeal by special leave was directed against the impugned judgment and order passed by HC whereby the HC partly allowed the appeal preferred by the respondent No. 1/National Insurance Company discharging it from the liability of payment of compensation to the claimants/appellants - Appellants relying upon s. 157 of Act, contended that there was an admitted transfer of ownership of the vehicle as proved before the Commissioner - Once the ownership of the vehicle was admittedly proved to have been transferred to new owner, the existing insurance policy in respect of the same vehicle would also be deemed to have been transferred to the new owner and the policy would not lapse even if the intimation as required u/s. 103 of Act was not given to the insurer, hence the impugned order passed by the HC was contrary to law -

Held, it could be discerned that on the date of accident, the ownership of the tractor stood transferred - In addition to that, a perusal of the 'Schedule of Premium' showed that an amount of Rs.15-00 was paid as premium 'for L.L. to persons employed in connection with the operation and/or loading of vehicle' - Thus, HC was of considered view that as on the date of accident, the deceased workman was in the course of employment of new owner in whose name the ownership of the vehicle stood transferred and the said vehicle was covered under a valid insurance policy, the HC ought not have simply brushed aside the decision of the Commissioner fastening joint liability on the Insurance Company in the light of the deeming provision contained in s.157 (1) of Act - Appeal allowed.


Rajasthan State TPT Corporation and another vs Bajrang Lal  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 14 Mar 2014]
Labour & Industrial Law - Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Proved delinquency - Removal from service - Civil suit against punishment of removal from service - Legality - Respondent (employee) while working as a trainee conductor on daily basis was found carrying certain passengers without tickets and, thus, an enquiry was initiated against him - Enquiry officer submitted report holding that charges leveled against respondent in charge sheets stood proved against him - Thereafter, order of punishment of removal from the service was passed - Aggrieved respondent challenging the same filed a civil suit alleging that he was not supplied with documents referred to in charge sheets, nor was given enquiry report nor other documents, which was decreed - Aggrieved appellant (Corporation) filed an appeal before Lower Appellate Court, which was dismissed - Aggrieved Corporation filed an appeal before HC, which was dismissed by impugned judgment - Hence, instant appeal - Appellants contended that suit itself was not maintainable, as the only remedy available to respondent was to approach the Labour Court under the Act was not properly examined by Courts below and that Courts below erred in holding that enquiry stood vitiated due to violation of statutory provisions and principles of natural justice -

Held, findings recorded by Trial Court was based only on the allegations made by respondent in the plaint and on failure of Corporation to rebut the same, though the Trial Court had proceeded with the case clearly observing that the burden of proving that issue was on the respondent and not on the Corporation - In such a fact situation, no reasoning whatsoever was given by Trial Court in support of its conclusion - Neither there was any specific pleading as to what document had not been supplied to him which has been relied upon by the enquiry officer or which witness was not permitted to be cross-examined by him - Trial Court did not make any reference to enquiry report or contents thereof - The entire case was based on ipsi dixi - Appellate Court committed a grave error by declaring the enquiry as non-est - Termination order as a consequence thereof, stood vitiated though there was no reference to any material fact on the basis of which such a conclusion was reached - Finding that copy of the documents was not supplied to respondent, though there was nothing on record to show that how the documents were relied upon and how they were relevant to the controversy involved, whether those documents had been relied upon by the enquiry officer and how any prejudice had been caused by non-supply of those documents, was therefore without any basis or evidence - When the matter reached the HC in second appeal, HC refused to examine the issue at all by merely observing that no substantial question of law was involved and the findings of fact, however erroneous, could not be disturbed in second appeal - In second appeal, in exceptional circumstances, could be entertained on pure questions of fact - There was no prohibition for HC to entertain the second appeal even on question of fact where factual findings were found to be perverse -Contention raised by respondent, that punishment of removal from service was disproportionate to the delinquency was not worth acceptance - The only punishment in case of the proved case of corruption was dismissal from service - Impugned judgments of Courts below were set aside and order of removal from service passed by Disciplinary Authority was restored - Appeal allowed.


Hari Nandan Prasad and another vs Employer I/R to Management of FCI and another  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 17 Feb 2014]
Labour & Industrial Law - Termination - Reinstatement - Challenged - Appellants were working on casual basis with respondent FCI after certain time their services were terminated - Appellants raised industrial dispute and alleged wrongful termination before Central Government- cum- Industrial Tribunal(CGIT) - CGIT held that termination of both appellants was held to be illegal and they were directed to be reinstated with 50% back wages - CGIT ordered with regularization of service - Respondent filed petition and challenged the awards passed by CGIT - Petitions were dismissed by Single Judge - Appeals before DB - DB allowed respondents appeals - Hence instant petitions - Whether the order passed by DB was sustainable -

Held, grievance of appellants was that under the Scheme contained in Circular dt. 6-5-1997 many similarly placed workmen were regularized and, therefore, they were entitled to this benefit - It was argued that those who had rendered 240 days service were regularized as per provision in that Scheme/Circular - On consideration of cases appellant No.1 was not in service on the date when Scheme was promulgated as his services were dispensed with 4 years before that Circular saw the light of the day - Therefore, relief of monetary compensation in lieu of reinstatement would be more appropriate in his case and conclusion in impugned judgment qua him was unassailable, though for difficult reasons than those advanced by HC - However, in case of appellant No.2 was concerned, he was engaged on 5-9-1986 and continued till 15-9-1990 when his services were terminated - Appellant no.2 raised industrial dispute immediately thereafter, thus, when Circular was issued, he was in service and within few months of the issuing of that Circular he had completed 240 days of service - Non-regularization of appellant no.2, while giving benefit of Circular to other similar situated employees and regularizing them would, therefore, be clearly discriminatory - On these facts, CGIT rightly held that he was entitled to the benefit of scheme contained in Circular - DB in impugned judgment failed to notice this pertinent and material fact which turned scales in favour of appellant No.2 - HC committed error in reversing direction given by CGIT, which was rightly affirmed by Single Judge as well, to reinstate appellant No.2 with 50% back wages and to regularize him in service - Appellant no.2 was entitled to get his case considered in terms of that Circular, had it been done, probably he would have been regularized - Instead, his services were wrongly and illegally terminated in the year 1990 - Hence, appeal of appellant no.1 was dismissed and appellant no. 2 was allowed - Appeals partly allowed


ABP Private Limited and another vs Union of India and others  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 07 Feb 2014]
Constitution - Labour & Industrial Law - Media & Entertainment - Constitution of India, 1950, arts. 32, 14, 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(g) - Working Journalists And Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions Of Service) And Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955, ss. 9, 11(1), 13C - Working Journalists (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act, 1974 - Infringement of Fundamental rights - Improper constitution of Wage Boards - Constitutionality - GOI enacted the Act to regulate the conditions of service of working Journalists and in 1974 via amendment for other Newspaper employees employed in newspaper establishments - For the purpose of fixing or revising the rates of wages of employees in newspaper establishments, Central Govt. was empowered u/ss. 9 and 13C of the Act to constitute 2 Wage Boards, one for working journalists and other for non-journalist newspaper employees respectively - Instant petitions, u/art. 32 of Constitution were filed by petitioners (management of various newspapers) praying for a declaration that the Act was ultra vires as it infringed the fundamental rights guaranteed u/arts. 14, 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution and sought quashing of notification dt.11-11-2011 issued by Central Govt. accepting the recommendations made by Wage Boards for Working Journalists and Non-Journalist Newspaper and News Agency Employees - Whether Wage Board has considered the capacity to pay of the News Agencies - Held, merely because 'S', former Secretary of Labour Ministry, was a part of Govt. that took the decision to set up Wage Boards, did not automatically follow that he ceased to be an independent' member of the Wage Boards - 'S' was an independent member of the Board and could not be considered to be 'biased' in any manner - Wage Boards functioned in a fully balanced manner - Thereafter, petitioners participated in proceedings and acquiesced themselves with the proceedings of Board - Petitioners participated in proceedings without seriously having challenged the constitution and the composition, petitioners could not be allowed to challenge the same at instant stage - Attack of petitioners was incorrect in the light of factual matrix and could not be raised at that point of time when they willfully conceded to the proceedings - Members representing working journalists were nominated to Wage Board for the working journalists - Members representing non-journalist newspaper employees were nominated to the Wage Boards for non-journalist newspaper employees - For administrative convenience, 4 independent members, including Chairman were common for both the Wage Boards - That arrangement in no way affects the interest of employers and challenge of the petitioners in that regard was unfounded -Chap. 3 of Wage Board recommendations clearly indicated that procedure adopted by Wage Boards did, in fact, gave ample opportunities to the stakeholders to give representations and financial data, etc. so that the same might be considered by Wage Boards for making their recommendations - However, many of the petitioners have never bothered to attend the proceedings of Wage Board and submitted financial data - Wage Boards conducted a series of meetings and gave ample opportunities to employers - Employers were given opportunity of both written and oral representations to make their point of view known to the Board and consequently the decision making process stands valid - In that respect, petitioners could not be allowed to take advantage of their own wrong and impugn the recommendations of Wage Boards as not being based on their data when they eluded to submit the said data in the first place - Wage Boards proceedings had been conducted and carried out in a legitimate approach and no decision of Wage Board is perceived to having been taken unilaterally or arbitrarily - Rather all decisions were reached in a coherent manner in the presence of all the Wage Board members after having processed various statistics and there was no irregularity in the procedure adopted by impugned Wage Boards - Comprehensive and detailed study was carried out by Wage Board by collecting all the relevant material information for the purpose of Wage Revision - It could not be held that the wage structure recommended by Wage Board was unreasonable - Concept of 'variable pay' contained in recommendations of 6 Central Pay Commission was incorporated into the Wage Board recommendations only to ensure that the wages of newspaper employees were at par with those employees working in other Govt. sectors - Such incorporation was made by the Wage Board after careful consideration, in order to ensure equitable treatment to employees of newspaper establishments, and it was well within its rights to do so - Mere fact that in instant case, Govt. had not accepted a few recommendations would not automatically affect the validity of entire report - Recommendations of Wage Boards were valid in law, based on genuine and acceptable considerations and there was no valid ground for interference u/art. 32 of Constitution - Wages as revised/determined should be payable from 11-11-2011 when GOI notified the recommendations of Wage Boards - Petitions dismissed.
Stanzen Toyotetsu India Private Limited vs Girish V. and others  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 21 Jan 2014]
Labour & Industrial Law - Indian Penal Code, 1860, ss. 143, 147, 323, 324, 356, 427, 504, 506, 114 r/w s. 149 - Misconduct - Termination - Challenged - Appellant-company was engaged in manufacture of automobile parts - Respondents workmen were engaged by appellant - Respondents allegedly stopped production activity and started abusing their superiors, damaged property of company and even assaulted senior managerial personnel - Indiscipline act of respondent which amounted to misconduct under several provisions of Standing Order - Competent Authority placed respondents under suspension and issued charge-sheets - Disciplinary enquiry was initiated and Enquiry Officers appointed to enquire into allegations against respondents - Respondents filed suits for permanent injunction against appellant and Enquiry Officers restraining them from proceeding with enquiry pending conclusion of criminal case - Application was allowed by Civil Judge - Appellants filed appeals Before Civil Judge which was dismissed - Petitions before HC - HC dismissed petitions - Hence instant appeals - Whether order recorded by HC was right in holding that disciplinary proceedings initiated by appellant against respondents ought to remain stayed pending in conclusion of criminal case instituted against respondents - Held, charges leveled against respondents were u/ss. 143, 147, 323, 324, 356, 427, 504, 506, 114 r/w s. 149 IPC - Incident as reported in FIR or as projected by respondents in suits filed by them did not suggest any complication or complexity either on facts or law - Trial Court examined only 3 witnesses so far out of total of 23 witnesses cited in charge-sheet - HC in judgment under appeal given 5 months to Trial Court to conclude trial - Disciplinary proceedings should not remain stayed for indefinitely long period - Such inordinate delay was neither in interest of appellant nor respondents who were under suspension and surviving on subsistence allowance - Number of accused implicated in case was very large - Incident should be taken to be false only because such large number could not participate in incident - However there was general tendency to spread net wider and even implicate those who were not concerned with commission of offences or who even though present committed no overt act to show that they shared common object of assembly or be responsible for riotous behaviour of other accused persons - Interest of such accused as might be innocent should not be ignored nor should they be made to suffer indefinitely just because some others have committed offence or offences -In circumstances and taking into consideration all aspects mentioned was in fact that all Courts below have exercised their discretion in favour of staying on-going disciplinary proceedings - Court did not consider it fit to vacate the said order - SC directed Court dealing with criminal charges against respondents to conclude proceedings as expeditiously as possible but in any case within period of one year from date of instant order - In case, trial was not completed within period of one year, despite steps which Trial Court was directed to take disciplinary proceedings initiated against respondents should be resumed and concluded by Inquiry Officer concerned - Impugned orders should in that case stand vacated upon expiry of period of one year from the date of the order - Appeals allowed.


State of Uttar Pradesh Through Exe. Engineer and another vs Amar Nath Yadav  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 10 Jan 2014]
Practice & Procedure - Delay of 481 days - Time barred - Maintainability - There was a delay of 481 days in filing Special Leave Petition - Hence instant application for condonation - Petitioner contended that the delay to the moving of file from one Department/ Officer to the other - Whether delay of 481 days could be condoned - Held, in Postmaster General and Ors. v. Living Media India Ltd., 2012 Indlaw SC 55, relied on - There was no reason to take a different view - SC thus, dismissed instant SLP on the ground of delay - Petition dismissed.
Kichha Sugar Company Limited Through General Manager vs Tarai Chini Mill Majdoor Union, Uttarkhand  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 06 Jan 2014]
Labour & Industrial Law - Allowance - Leave encashment - Entitlement of - Appellant company aggrieved by order passed by HC, who affirmed the award, directing payment of Hill Development Allowance after taking into account amount received as 'leave encashment and overtime wages, filed instant petition - Whether HC rightly directed payment of Hill Development allowance - Held, those wages which were universally, necessarily and ordinarily paid to all employees across board were basic wage - Where payment was available to those who avail opportunity more than others, amount paid for that could not be included in basic wage - For example, overtime allowance, though it was generally enforced across board but not earned by all employees equally - Overtime wages or for that matter, leave encashment might be available to each workman but it might vary from one workman to other - Extra bonus depended upon extra hour of work done by workman, whereas leave encashment should depend upon number of days of leave available to workman - Both were variable - SC opined that amount received as leave encashment and overtime wages was not fit to be included for calculating 15% of Hill Development Allowance - SC found support from one case in which it was specifically held that basic wage should not include bonus - Muir Mills Co. Ltd. v. Workmen, 1960 Indlaw SC 195, relied on - Appeal allowed.
T. S. Shylaja vs Oriental Insurance Company and another  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 03 Jan 2014]
Labour & Industrial Law - Insurance - Employees Compensation Act, 1923, s. 30 - Accident - Workmen Compensation - Justifiability - Deceased died in motor accident - Appellant claimants filed petition before Commissioner for compensation - Respondent insurance company contested claim primarily on ground that jural relationship of employer and employee did not exist between owner and deceased - Commissioner awarded Rs.4,48,000/- towards compensation with 12% interest - Aggrieved by award made by Commissioner, respondent filed appeal before HC - Appeal was allowed- Hence instant appeal - Whether order passed by HC was just and proper - Held, only reason that HC order was that Commissioner could not blindly accept oral evidence without analysing documentary evidence on record - SC failed to appreciate as to what was documentary evidence which HC failed to appreciate and what was contradiction, if any, between such documents and version given by witnesses examined before Commissioner - HC could not have, without adverting to documents vaguely referred to by it have upset finding of fact which Commissioner was entitled to record - Apart from appreciation of evidence adduced before Commissioner, HC neither referred to nor determined any question of law much less substantial question of law existence whereof was condition precedent for maintainability of any appeal u/s. 30 of the Act - Inasmuch as HC remained oblivious of basic requirement of law for maintainability of appeal before it and inasmuch as it treated appeal to be one on facts, HC committed error which needed to be corrected - Hence, order passed by HC was set aside and restored the order passed by Commissioner - Appeal allowed.


Management of Sundaram Industries Limited vs Sundaram Industries Employees Union  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 13 Dec 2013]
Labour & Industrial Law - Defaulting workmen - Termination - Reinstatement - Sustainability - Appellant-company manufacturer of rubber products - Appellant required workmen engaged as moulders to place their individual bags of production on weighing scale at end of their work shift - Few workers declined to abide by instructions - Defaulters were suspended - Respondent-union raised dispute before Labour Officer - Labour officer advised respondent and its workmen to tender apology to management and undertaking to effect that they would not repeat their acts in future - Despite apology defaulting workmen not only continued disobeyed instructions but succeeded in enticing others to follow them - Disciplinary proceedings was initiated - Workmen were dismissed - Respondent approached Tribunal - Tribunal set aside order of dismissal passed against workmen and directed their reinstatement with 50% back wages - Appellant filed petition before HC - Petition was dismissed by HC - Appeal filed before DB which was dismissed - Hence instant appeal - Whether the order recorded by HC was sustainable - Held, award was in favour of workmen which they had no reason to challenge - But that did not mean that in any proceedings against award respondent workmen could not support direction for their reinstatement on ground that finding of Tribunal regarding proof of misconduct was not justified - Legal position was fairly well settled that judgment should be supported by party in whose favour it was delivered not only on grounds found in his favour but also on grounds that might have been held against him by Courts - Finding regarding commission of misconduct was left undisturbed, circumstances in which workmen were alleged to have disobeyed instructions issued to them did not justify extreme penalty of their dismissal - At any rate, Labour Court having exercised its discretion in setting aside dismissal order on ground that same was disproportionate, HC was justified in refusing to interfere with that order - There was in any event no compelling reason for SC to invoke extraordinary power or to interfere with what was done by Courts below - Appeal dismissed.
B.S.N.L. vs Bhurumal  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 11 Dec 2013]
Labour & Industrial Law - Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, s.25F - Termination of service - Reinstatement - Legality - Respondent raised an industrial dispute alleging his wrongful termination, by approaching the Assistant Labour Commissioner - Respondent claimed that he was working as a Lineman on daily wages with Telephone Dept., and was not paid his wages for the period from October 2001 till April 2002 - Respondent further stated that while working he got an electrical shock and because of this accident he was hospitalized - However, respondent was not allowed to resume his duty which amounted to wrongful termination - Conciliation proceedings were not successful, the Conciliation Officer sent his failure report to the Central Govt. and on that basis Central Govt. made a reference to Tribunal - Tribunal came to the conclusion that there was clear evidence to the effect that the respondent was directly working under the administrative control of the appellant as a Lineman and his services were illegally terminated - Thus, answering the reference in favour of the respondent, Tribunal directed reinstatement of the respondent along with back wages - HC concurred with the view of Tribunal - Whether the relief of reinstatement with full back wages was rightly granted by Tribunal - Held, it was clear from the reading of the judgments of SC that the ordinary principle of grant of reinstatement with full back wages, when the termination was found to be illegal was not applied mechanically in all cases - While that might be a position where services of a regular/permanent workman were terminated illegally and/or malafide and/or by way of victimization, unfair labour practice etc - However, when it came to the case of termination of a daily wage worker and where the termination was found illegal because of procedural defect, namely in violation of s.25-F of Act, SC was consistent in taking the view in such cases reinstatement with back wages was not automatic and instead the workman should be given monetary compensation which will meet the ends of justice - Reasons for denying the relief of reinstatement in such cases were obvious - It was trite law that when the termination was found to be illegal because of non-payment of retrenchment compensation and notice pay as mandatorily required under s.25-F of Act, even after reinstatement, it was always open to the management to terminate the services of that employee by paying him the retrenchment compensation - Since such a workman/respondent was working on daily wage basis and even after he was reinstated, he had no right to seek regularization - Thus when respondent could not claim regularization and he had no right to continue even as a daily wage worker, no useful purpose was going to be served in reinstating such a workman and he could be given monetary compensation by the Court itself inasmuch as if he was terminated again after reinstatement, he would receive monetary compensation only in the form of retrenchment compensation and notice pay - In such a situation, giving the relief of reinstatement, that too after a long gap, would not serve any purpose - Thus, ends of justice would be met by granting compensation in lieu of reinstatement - A.Umarani v. Registrar, Coop.Societies, 2004 Indlaw SC 606 and Secy.,State of Karnataka v. Umadevi, 2006 Indlaw SC 125, relied on - Appeal disposed of.
E.S.I.C. Medical Officer's Association vs E.S.I.C. and another  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 21 Nov 2013]
Labour & Industrial Law - Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, s. 2(s) - Workmen - Claim for allowance - Entitlement of - Petitioner/Association of medical officers employed in the ESIC after the year 1974 - Petitioner raised a claim for ESIC allowance of Rs.200/- per month on the ground that they were performing the same duties as those by doctors who are getting the said allowance and, therefore, could not be discriminated against - Tribunal answered the reference in favour of petitioner holding that the medical doctors discharging functions of medical officers are 'workmen' within the meaning of S. 2(s) of the Act - Aggrieved, Corporation approached HC, Single Judge allowed the appeal - Hence instant petition - Whether medical doctors discharging functions of medical officers i.e. treating patients in ESIC's dispensaries/hospitals are 'workmen' within the meaning of expression contained in s. 2(s) of the Act - Held, medical professional treating patients and diagnosing diseases could not be held to be a 'workmen' within the meaning of s. 2(s) of the Act - Doctors profession is a noble profession and mainly dedicated to serve the society, which demands professionalism and accountability - Distinction between occupation and profession is of paramount importance - An occupation a principal activity related to job, work or calling that earns regular wages for a person and a profession, on the other hand, requires extensive training, study and mastery of the subject, whether it is teaching students, providing legal advice or treating patients or diagnosing diseases - Persons performing such functions could not be seen as a workman within the meaning of s. 2(s) of the Act - Petition dismissed.
Balwant Rai Saluja and another Etc. vs Air India Limited and others  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 13 Nov 2013]
V. Gopala Gowda, J.

Labour & Industrial Law - Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, ss. 2(ra), 25U, 25T, 33(2) - Delhi Factory Rules, 1950, rr. 60 to 70 - Factories Act, 1948, s. 2(n) - - Absorption in service - Deemed employment - Legality - Respondent (Air India) had entered into a contract with a Corporation (HCI) to provide canteen services at its establishment - Appellants (workmen) are contract labour employees, employed by HCI on behalf of Respondent - Appellants (workmen) raised industrial dispute in relation to the absorption of their services by the Management of respondent before Tribunal - However, respondent allegedly terminated services of appellants, during pendency of industrial disputed in contravention of s. 33(2) of the Act - Tribunal passed a common award and recorded that workmen were entitled to be treated as being employees of respondent and consequently held that they were entitled to relief sought for by them - Aggrieved respondent filed an appeal before HC - Single Judge had set aside the common Award - Aggrieved appellants filed an appeal before DB - DB by impugned judgment concurred with the findings of facts and reasons recorded by Single Judge - Hence, instant appeals - Appellant contended that action of Management of respondent in employing the concerned workmen on contract basis was an unfair labour practice as defined u/s. 2(ra) of 1947 Act and that respondent has a large role to play in operation and management of Canteen - Whether canteen which was run through HCI from its Chefair unit by Management of respondent, was the statutory canteen of it u/rr. 65 to 70 of the Rules - Held, respondent suppressed relevant material fact regarding number of employees/workmen working in its establishment - Tribunal recorded the finding of fact holding that a total figure of 2000 employees/workmen were working in respondent's establishment and they were availing the canteen facilities, which was run through a HCI from its Chefair unit in the premise of respondent - The wholly owned subsidiary Corporation (HCI) has adopted unfair labour practice as defined u/s. 2(ra) of 1947 Act at sl no. 10 entry in sch. V, under the heading of Unfair Labour Practices practiced by the employer, by keeping workers in employment in the canteen for 40 days at a time and thereafter employing them on contract basis after a break though the nature of work to be performed by them in the canteen have been perennial in nature, for the reason that they were required to provide and maintain the statutory canteen in the factory premises to cater the food stuff to its employees/ workmen - Thus, respondents have committed a statutory offence punishable u/s. 25U of 1947 Act for employing concerned workmen on contract basis with a break in their service which constitutes unfair labour practice and was prohibited u/s. 25T of 1947 Act either by the employer or workmen under sch. V of 1947 Act - In instant case, respondent fall under the category of factory where occupier was defined u/s. 2(n) of 1948 Act and thus, it was duty bound to provide a canteen to its employees/ workmen which was known as the statutory canteen - It was statutory obligation on part of respondent to provide a statutory canteen under the provisions of 1948 Act and Rules and thus, it was one more strong circumstance in favour of workmen for regularization in their services as permanent workmen by respondent - Concerned workmen have completed 240 days despite attempt of contractor by giving break in service of concerned workmen by the statutory corporation which was an instrumentality of State which was not permissible in law - Contract with HCI which was a subsidiary company of respondent and employing the contract workers to work in statutory canteen, was a sham contract - They were engaged in permanent nature of work continuously for number of years - Finding of fact recorded Tribunal on the points of dispute holding that they were entitled for regularization and to be absorbed as employees of respondent, without prejudice to any managerial arrangement to avail the expertise of HCI through existing arrangements - Indeed that would be a win-win situation for all stake holders concerned in instant the corporates, respondent's employees numbering more than 2000 in instant case and disempowered canteen workers and that would also be in harmony with our Constitutional jurisprudence - Findings and reasons recorded by Tribunal on the points of dispute in relation to concerned employees declaring that concerned contract workers of canteen were deemed employees of respondent was a right decision which was reached after appreciation of evidence on record and adhering to legal principles laid down by SC in catena of cases - Single Judge and DB exceeded in their jurisdiction to interfere with the finding of fact recorded by Tribunal on the points of dispute which were referred to by Central Govt. - Workmen whose services were terminated during the pendency of petition before Tribunal, should be treated as permanent workmen at par with concerned workmen involved in instant case - Award for their reinstatement to their posts should be passed with all consequential benefits with full back wages - Impugned judgments passed by DB and Single Judge was set aside - Award passed by Tribunal was restored - Order accordingly.

C. K. Prasad, J. (Dissenting)

Labour & Industrial Law - Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, ss. 2(ra), 25U, 25T, 33(2) - Delhi Factory Rules, 1950, rr. 60 to 70 - Factories Act, 1948, s. 2(n) - Absorption in service - Deemed employment - Legality - Whether canteen which was run through HCI from its Chefair unit by Management of respondent, was the statutory canteen of it u/rr. 65 to 70 of the Rules - Held, respondent or its nominee were the shareholders of HCI and in the management of business and finances, it was subject to the directions issued by respondent in terms of Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association should not merge the HCI's identity in shareholders - HCI was a separate legal entity, not subservient to respondent but a servant to its Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association - Obligation to provide Canteen was by itself not decisive to determine the status of workmen employed in Canteen - Respondent did not fulfill the test laid down so as to treat it as principal employer - It was not the case of workmen that it was respondent which pays their emoluments instead of HCI - Respondent had neither any role in selection and appointment of workmen nor it controls and supervises their work - It was further not their case that respondent was their disciplinary authority over their conduct and discipline - Respondent, by giving subsidy at a specified rate or for that matter purchasing few articles for Canteen on its behalf and further bringing to the notice of HCI the complaint in regard to functioning of the Canteen, would not make it principal employer - HC rightly observed that HCI was a Govt. company like respondent and the workmen in no way would be prejudiced if they continue to be the employees of HCI - There did not seem to be any mala fide or oblique motive in respondent entering into a contract with Chefair, a unit of HCI for operating its Canteen - Order accordingly.


State of Maharashtra and another vs Sarva Shramik Sangh, Sangli and others  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 21 Oct 2013]
Labour & Industrial Law - Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, ss. 17B, 25(A), 25(F) and 25(FF) - Retrenchment - Challenged - Govt. of Maharashtra established a corporation named as the Irrigation Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd. - 256 workmen were employed to work on the irrigation schemes of the said Corporation - Workmen served with notices of termination by the appellant No. 2 on 15-5-1985 - Notice sought to terminate their services w.e.f. 30-6-1985, and offered them 15 days compensation for every completed year of service - Retrenchment was being effected because according to the appellants the lift irrigation schemes, on which these workmen were working, were being transferred to a sugar factory - Workmen filed petition against said order - Labour Court held that there was a violation of s. 25F of Act, inasmuch as not even 1 month's notice had been given and hence the termination was illegal - Single Judge held that since according to the State Govt., the workmen were employed by the Irrigation Department, the plea that their services were required to be terminated on account of the transfer of the undertaking could not be accepted - DB dismissed the appeal filed against said order - Hence, instant appeals - Whether order of the Single Judge as affirmed by the DB could be upheld - Held, termination did result on account of transfer of the undertaking, the relief to be given to the workmen would have to be moulded to be somewhat similar to that given to the other group of 10 workmen - It will not be just and proper to restrict it to the rigours of the limited relief u/s. 25FF r/w 25F of Act - Prior to the termination of their services on 30-6-1985, many of the workmen concerned had put in a service of about 10 years - Inasmuch as so many years have gone since then, most of them must have reached the age of superannuation - In the circumstances, there cannot be any order of reinstatement - However, workmen would be entitled to continuity of service, and although they have been receiving last drawn wages u/s. 17B of Act, they would be entitled to 25% backwages and retirement benefits on par with the other 10 workmen - Appeals disposed of.
Arcot Textile Mills Limited vs Regional Provident Fund Commissioner and others  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 18 Oct 2013]
Labour & Industrial Law - Corporate - Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, s. 7 Q - Constitution of India, 1950, art. 226 - Interest on belated remittance - Appellant-company had a textile factory and it was established in the year 1964 and with passage of time it took steps for modernization but it suffered a setback in the year 1997 due to slump in the cotton industry - Appellant defaulted in making contributions towards the Provident Fund and delay occurred in remitting the dues under the Act - Appellant had paid a sum of Rs.83,01,037.80 being arrears of the Provident Fund contribution to the Respondent No. 1 (Regional Provident Fund Commissioner) - Asst. Provident Fund Commissioner issued a demand requiring the appellant to deposit a sum of Rs.94,27,334/- towards interest u/s. 7Q of the Act for belated remittances - Appellant replied that the report stated to have been annexed with the calculation had not been sent along with the notice and the same may be provided to it to reconcile the accounts - An order came to be passed demanding the amount of interest and an order was passed by the Asst. Provident Fund Commissioner taking certain coercive measures to realize the amount - Appellant filed writ petition against said order which was dismissed by Single Judge who held that it was appropriate on the part of the appellant to take recourse to the alternative remedy and not to approach the HC u/art. 226 of the Constitution - DB dismissed appeal filed against said order - Hence, instant appeal - Whether order of the Single Judge as affirmed by the DB could be upheld - Held, it was manifest from the record that the appellant had already deposited a sum of Rs.34,00,000/- before the Competent Authority and sought for supply of the calculation sheet the basis on which the computation had been made so that it could reconcile the accounts - It was appropriate to direct that the computation sheets should be provided to the appellant within 3 weeks - Appellant was also directed to deposit a further sum of Rs.16,00,000/- within a period of 4weeks social welfare legislation - Appeal allowed.
Davalsab Husainsab Mulla vs North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 24 Sep 2013]
Labour & Industrial Law - Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, s. 11A - Dismissal - Disciplinary proceedings - Legality - Appellant was working as a driver in respondent/Corporation - Appellant travelled in Corporation bus without ticket which was detected by checking squad - Disciplinary proceedings was initiated and charges were framed against appellant - Show cause notice was issued wherein by an order respondent passed an order dismissing appellant - Appellant raised an industrial dispute - Labour Court passed an award holding that order of dismissal was fully justified - Appellant filed a writ petition challenging impugned award - Single Judge allowed writ petition and set aside impugned award of Labour Court, - On appeal, DB set aside order of Single Judge and upheld order of dismissal - Hence, instant appeal - Whether there was any perversity or illegality in impugned judgment of DB - Held, appellant by violating rules of Corporation travelled without a valid ticket had audacity to question authority of checking squad and posed a serious threat of taking away life of concerned Checking Inspector - Thus, conduct of employee towards establishment as well as its fellow employees and higher authorities was highly condemnable - Therefore, there was no scope for exercising discretionary power vested in Labour Court u/s. 11A of the Act - Labour Court, therefore, rightly declined to exercise said jurisdiction vested in it in his favour - Hence, DB was correct in setting aside order of Single Judge and restoring order of dismissal passed against appellant - Appeal dismissed.
Dredging Corporation of India Limited vs P. K. Bhattacherjee  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 17 Sep 2013]
Employee's Compensation Act, 1923-Section 3-Compensation-E.C. Commissioner held that employee/respondent met with accident while in employment of appellant-company and considering his age, wages and injury, he was entitled to compensation computed at R 12,00,000-Courts below misdirected themselves in law-Impugned order as well as order of E.C. Commissioner-Set aside-Matter remitted back to court of E.C. Commissioner for fresh adjudication de novo-Specific issue to be struck as to whether employee's ischemic heart condition developed as consequence of any stress or strain of his employment with appellant-company.


TATA Iron and Steel Company Limited vs State of Jharkhand and others  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 16 Sep 2013]
(1) Industrial Disputes Act, 1947-Sections 25FF, 10 and 2 (k)-Retrenchment-Compensation to workmen in case of transfer of undertaking-Reference of dispute-Appellant denying respondents to be its workmen-Respondents asserting that they continue to be employees of appellant company-Reference in present form, clearly defective as it does not take care of correct and precise nature of dispute between parties-Appropriate Government itself decided contentious issues and assumed role of adjudicator which is, otherwise, reserved for labour court/industrial Tribunal-Bounden duty of appropriate Government to make reference appropriately which is reflective of real/exact nature of "dispute" between parties-References made in present form-Quashed-Direction to appropriate Government to make fresh reference, incorporating real essence of dispute-Impugned judgment of High Court-Set aside.

(2) Industrial Disputes Act, 1947-Section 10-Reference of dispute-Industrial Tribunal/Labour Court has to confine itself within scope of subject- matter of reference and cannot travel beyond the same.


Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation vs C. P. Goswami  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 21 Aug 2013]
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 -Sections 2 (oo) and 25F -Employment - Termination -Workman -Respondent-workman, driver of appellant-Corporation terminated from service on account of misconduct -Industrial Tribunal quashed and set aside order terminating service of respondent-workman and directed that respondent to be reinstated in service as driver with continuity of service and with arrears of salary -Finding of fact arrived at by Tribunal not to be interfered with, especially when High Court confirmed same -However, respondent not to be awarded full back wages -It would be just and proper to award, in all sum of R 5 lacs by way of compensation to respondent-workman in lieu of back wages -Impugned judgment of High Court modified accordingly.


Assistant Engineer, Rajasthan State Agriculture Marketing Board, Sub-Division, Kota vs Mohan Lal  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 16 Aug 2013]
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947-Section 25F-Termination-Workman-Employer terminated workmen's services in violation of Section 25F-Workman raised industrial dispute after 6 years of termination-Labour court did not keep in view admitted delay of 6 years in raising industrial dispute by workman-Though Limitation Act, 1963 not applicable to reference made under I.D. Act but delay in raising industrial dispute definitely important circumstance which labour court must keep in view at time of exercise of discretion irrespective of whether or not such objection raised by either side-Judicial discretion exercised by labour court, thus, flawed and unsustainable-Labour court not justified in directing reinstatement of workman-Reinstatement of workman in facts and circumstances-Not appropriate relief-Division Bench of High Court clearly in error in restoring award of labour court whereby reinstatement granted to workman-Single Judge of High Court substituted order of reinstatement by compensation quantified at R 5,000-Interest of justice to be subserved if in lieu of reinstatement, compensation of R 1 lac paid by employer to workman-Such compensation amount to carry interest @ 9% p.a.

The consequent relief to be granted to the workman whose termination is held to be illegal being in violation of Section 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (for short, “I.D. Act”) is the sole question for our decision in this appeal. Were it not for the argument strongly pressed by the learned counsel for the respondent that the delay in raising industrial dispute in the absence of any such objection having been raised by the employer before the labour court is no ground to mould the relief of reinstatement.

Though Limitation Act, 1963 is not applicable to the reference made under the I.D. Act but delay in raising industrial dispute is definitely an important circumstance which the labour court must keep in view at the time of exercise of discretion irrespective of whether or not such objection has been raised by the other side. The legal position laid down by Apex Court in Gitam Singh case, (2013) 5 SCC 136 that before exercising its judicial discretion, the labour court has to keep in view all relevant factors including the mode and manner of appointment, nature of employment, length of service, the ground on which termination has been set aside and the delay in raising industrial dispute before grant of relief in an industrial dispute, must be invariably followed.

If the facts of the present case are seen, the position that emerges is this : the workman worked as a work-charged employee for a period from 1.11.1984 to 17.2.1986 (in all he worked for 286 days during his employment). The services of the workman were terminated with effect from 18.2.1986. The workman raised the industrial dispute in 1992, i.e., after 6 years of termination. The labour court did not keep in view admitted delay of 6 years in raising the industrial dispute by the workman. The judicial discretion exercised by the labour court is, thus, flawed and unsustainable. The Division Bench of the High Court was clearly in error in restoring the award of the labour court whereby reinstatement was granted to the workman. Though, the compensation awarded by the single Judge was too low and needed to be enhanced by the Division Bench but surely reinstatement of the workman in the facts and circumstances is not the appropriate relief.

The interest of justice will be subserved if in lieu of reinstatement, the compensation of R 1,00,000 (one lac) is paid by the appellant (employer) to the respondent (workman). Such payment shall be made by the appellant to the respondent within six weeks from today failing which the same will carry interest @ 9% per annum.


Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation vs Salimbhai Umarbhai Mansuri  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 16 Jul 2013]
Industrial Disputes Act (14 of 1947), SS. 2(oo)(bb) and 25-H - Contract of appointment - Termination of service after contract period - Does not constitute retrenchment - Respondent was appointed on daily wages as a helper for 54 days and after serving a total period of 54 days his service stood terminated - There was no retrenchment under section 2(oo) - Consequently section 25-H would not apply for re-employment of the respondent - Award passed by the Labour Court and confirmed by the High Court set aside.
State of Gujarat and others vs PWD Employees Union and others Etc.  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 09 Jul 2013]
Labour & Industrial Law - Daily wage workers - Work related services & facilities - Maintainability - State Public Works Department Employees Union, Labour Union and other Unions made a representation to the State Govt. for regularization of daily wage workers, working since long - On their demand, the State Govt. constituted a Committee vide Resolution under the Chairmanship of Minister of Road and Building Department to make proper recommendations after studying the demands, issues and questions of the Labour Unions - After thoroughly studying the wages of daily wage workers, work related services & facilities provided to the daily wage workers who were engaged in the building maintenance and repairing work in different departments of the State such as Road and Building Department, Water Resources Department, Forest Department, Agriculture Department etc. the Committee made recommendations favouring the regularization - In spite of the Resolution of the State Govt. the benefit was not provided to the daily wage workers of the Forest Dept. of the State - Aggrieved by the same, some of the daily wage workers of Forest Dept. filed a Special Civil Application before the HC - Single Judge relying on a common judgment passed by the same Court in a group of similar cases, held that Resolution was applicable to the employees of the Forest Dept. as well - Whether in the facts and circumstances it would be desirable for the Court to direct the appellants to straightaway regularize the services of all the daily wage workers working for more than five years or the daily wage workers working for more than five years were entitled for some other relief - Held, considering, the facts and circumstances of the case, finding of HC and connected matters and the fact that the said judgment was binding between the parties, SC was of the view that the appellants should be directed to grant the benefit of the scheme as contained in the Resolution to all the daily wage workers of the Forest and Environment Dept. working for more than five years, providing them the benefits - Appellants were directed accordingly - Judgment and order passed by Single Judge as affirmed by the DB of HC stood modified - Benefit should be granted to the eligible daily wage workers of the Forest and Environment Department working for more than five years including those who were performing work other than building maintenance and repairing but they would be entitled for the consequential benefit from date from which they were so eligible within four months from the date of receipt/production of the copy of instant order - Appeals disposed of.
Bank Of Maharashtra vs Pandurang Keshav Gorwardkar And Ors  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 07 May 2013]
Banking & Finance - Labour & Industrial Law - Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, ss. 19(19) - Companies Act, 1956, ss. 529A, 529(1)(c) - Liquidation of company - Recovery officer - Claims adjudicated by Tribunal - Claims of workmen - Pari passu - Writ petition filed by workmen/employees of company praying therein that direction be issued to the Recovery Officer, DRT (Tribunal) to recover the amount of Rs. 3 crores from appellant/bank which was allowed to be withdrawn being the money realised from the sale of movables of the Company and for issuance of further direction to the Recovery Officer to adjudicate the claims/dues of the workmen/employees - After adjudication, in priority over all the claims, release the amount due to them - Workmen/employees also prayed in the writ petition for direction to the Central Govt. to make rules laying down procedure to be followed by the Recovery Officer under 1993 Act - HC allowed the petition - Hence instant appeals - Whether the claims of the workmen who claimed to be entitled to payment pari passu have to be considered by the official liquidator or whether their claims have to be adjudicated upon by the Tribunal was likely to arise in a large number of cases where recoveries were sought to be made pursuant to the certificates issued by Tribunal - Held, if the debtor company was not in liquidation nor any provisional liquidator was appointed and merely winding up proceedings were pending, there was no question of distribution of sale proceeds among secured creditors in the manner prescribed in s. 19(19) of the 1993 Act - Where a company was in liquidation, statutory charge was created in favour of workmen in respect of their dues over the security of every secured creditor and this charge was pari passu with that of the secured creditor - Such statutory charge was to the extent of workmen's portion in relation to the security held by the secured creditor of the debtor company - Pending final disbursement of the proceeds realized from the sale of security in execution of recovery certificate issued by the debt recovery tribunal, if debtor company becomes company in winding up, s. 529A r/w s. 529(1)(c) proviso come into operation and statutory charge was created in favour of workmen in respect of their dues over such proceeds - Relevant date for arriving at the ratio at which the sale proceeds were to be distributed amongst workmen and secured creditors of the debtor company was the date of the winding up order and not the date of sale - Where the sale of security effected in execution of recovery certificate issued by the Tribunal under the 1993 Act, the distribution of sale proceeds had to be made by the Tribunal alone in accordance with s. 529A of the 1956 Act and by no other forum or authority - Workmen of the company in winding up acquire the standing of the secured creditors on and from the date of winding up order (or where provisional liquidator has been appointed, from the date of such appointment) and they become entitled to the distribution of sale proceeds in the ratio as explained in the illustration appended to s. 529(3)(c) of the 1956 Act - S. 19(19) of the 1993 Act did not clothe Tribunal with jurisdiction to determine the workmen's claim against the debtor company - Adjudication of workmen's dues against the debtor company in liquidation had to be made by the liquidator - S. 19 (19) of the Act would attracted only where a debtor company was in winding up or a provisional liquidator was appointed in respect of such company - If the debtor company was not in liquidation or if in respect of such company no order of appointment of provisional liquidator was made and merely winding up proceedings were pending, the question of distribution of sale proceeds among secured creditors in the manner prescribed in s. 19(19) of the 1993 Act did not arise - Claims of the workmen who claim to be entitled to payment pari passu had to be considered and adjudicated by the liquidator of Debtor Company and not by the Tribunal - Impugned judgment was set aside - Appeals allowed.
S. Sivaguru, R. Arulraj, K. Krishnamurthy, K.V. Srinivasan, B. Kumar, Govt. Of Tamil Nadu And Anr., State Of Tamil Nadu And Anr., Secretary To Govt. Health And Family Welfare And Anr, J. Murthy, K. Selvan And Ors, T. Rajaraman, K.Jagannathan And Ors., M. Padmanaban And Anr. vs State Of Tamil Nadu And Ors., K. Jagannathan And Ors., C. Selvaraj And Ors., Narasimhalu And Ors., S. Syed Ibrahim And Ors., Venkatramanan And Ors., Narasimhalu And Ors., M. Padmanaban And Ors., S. Sivaguru,O.M. Duraisamy And Ors., S. Sivaguru, Government Of Tamil Nadu And Ors., Mrs. Girija Vaidyanathan And Anr.  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 07 May 2013]
Service - Constitution - Constitution of India, 1950, arts. 14, 16, 309 - Tamil Nadu State and Subordinate Services Rules, 1955 - Health Workers Scheme - Recruitment - Justifiability - Dispute arose when fact of successful eradication of leprosy by National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) led to integration of employees working in said Scheme into MHW Scheme - Integration of Multipurpose Health Workers (MHW) Scheme with Leprosy Eradication Scheme took place vide G.O. Ms. No.320, Health and Family Welfare (G-1) Department, with other relevant clause would be 5(iv)/Leprosy Inspectors were designated, provision was made for absorption of Ministerial staff in Cl. 6/Ministerial Staff of G.O - Cl. 8/transportation vehicles, cl. 10/all Govt. buildings occupied by Govt. Leprosy Control Units, cl. 11 Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and to impart necessary training to leprosy staff - Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine proposed for re-designation of post of Health Inspectors Grade IB as Health Inspector Grade I (HIG I) considering their length of service - Govt. requested Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine to send necessary detailed proposal for imparting in-service training for period of one week for all Health Inspectors Grade IB so as to re-designate them as Health Inspectors Grade I - Said proposal was accepted through G.O.Ms. No. 382 - Respondents/employees of erstwhile Leprosy Control Scheme filed petition before Single Judge challenging cl. Nos. 4 and 5 of Para 6 of G.O, apart from that G.O.Ms. No. 382 was also challenged by appellant - Single Judge allowed said petitions and through G.O.Ms. No. 73 G.O now prompted HIG I who were not in possession of required certificate - Aggrieved by said order petition was filed before DB for quashing of G.O.Ms. No. 73 - DB held that even though Uni-purpose Health Workers had been given concession of one time promotion, it would not act as an embargo on their subsequent promotion and dismissed said petitions and quashed and set aside offending cl. of 6(iv) and 6(v) of G.O. Ms. No. 382 and allowed petition filed by respondents No. 3 to 5 - Hence instant appeals - Whether impugned order passed by HC was just and proper - Held, since G.O. Ms. No. 382 was issued to remove injustice done to Leprosy Inspectors at time when G.O. Ms. No. 320 was issued - SC was unable to accept submission that any unjustified retrospective effect had been given to G.O. Ms. No. 382 - SC did not find any merit in submission that granting benefit of service to Health Inspectors Grade IB on post of HIG I resulted in enforcement of negative equity - There was no merit in submission of petitioners that there was not a complete merger between post of Leprosy Inspectors and Multi-Purpose Health Supervisor, by G.O. Ms. No. 320 - There was no substance in submission of Advocate General, that erstwhile Leprosy Inspectors have been given double benefit of promotion as they still continue to enjoy original channel of promotion on post of Non-Medical Supervisor and Health Educator - Promotion on aforesaid posts were being given to HIG IB only in view of wholly illegal prohibition contained in G.O. Ms. No. 320 of 1997 - Therefore, submissions of appellant to be devoid of any merit - HC was justified in quashing G.O.Ms. No. 382 - Seniority of respondent had to be fixed in cadre of HIG I by giving benefit of service - Further, they were eligible to be promoted on completion of 5 years' service on post of HIG I, though, they could be placed at bottom of seniority of serving HIG I - None of Govt. Orders vide which integration was effectuated, suffered from any of aforesaid irregularities - HC had merely undone injustice done to respondents - SC therefore, not inclined to interfere in well-reasoned order of DB - None of the principles enunciated by SC in the judgments cited by appellants were infringed by any of actions taken on basis of G.O.Ms. No. 320 and G.O. Ms. No. 382 - HC in fact rightly quashed and set aside offending clauses of 6(iv) and 6(v) of G.O. Ms. No. 382 - Integration of Leprosy Inspectors into Department of Health and Preventive Medicine by G.O.Ms. No. 320 was complete in all respects - G.O. Ms. No. 320 did not bring about an amendment in Statutory Services Rules contained in G.O. Ms. No. 1507 - There was no relaxation in educational qualification for integration/re-designation of Leprosy Inspectors as Multi-Purpose Health Supervisors as post of Leprosy Inspector was equated with post of Multi-Purpose Health Supervisor - Continuance of existing promotion channels as Non-Medical Supervisor and Health Educator to re-designated HIG I did not amount to bestowing double benefit upon this category - Therefore, HC did not enforce negative equality - HC had correctly observed that upon integration and merger into one cadre, pre- existing length of service of Leprosy Inspectors re-designated as HIG IB had to be protected as it could not be obliterated - Therefore, Leprosy Inspectors have been correctly placed at bottom of seniority list of already existing Health Inspectors Grade I - Therefore, it could not be said that benefit had been given to Leprosy Inspectors / HIG IB / HIG I with retrospective effect - Appeals disposed of.
Sohan Lal vs State of Haryana and others  [SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, 01 May 2013]
Labour & Industrial Law - Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, s. 10 (1) - Medical unfitness - Termination of services - Sustainability - It was case of appellant/driver that, while in service, he sustained certain injuries as a result of a road accident - Medical examination of appellant was conducted to determine fitness of appellant to continue to be employed as driver - Appellant was found to be unfit to discharge his duties - Respondent/General Manager issued notice on 3-3-1997 to appellant proposing him to retire him from service on medical grounds - Appellant was retired from service w.e.f.31.03.1997 on ground of medical unfitness - Appellant raised an industrial dispute on issue of his termination/retirement made by order dt.27-3-1997 - Labour Court held that claim of workman was not tenable and observed fact that in order dt.27-3-1997, it was mentioned that before dispensing with services of workman, attempts were made to find alternative job to accommodate him which attempts, however, did not yield any positive result - Aggrieved by award, appellant filed writ petition before HC - HC dismissed the same - Hence instant appeal - Whether orders passed by Court below were justified - Held, order dt.27-3-1997 by which service of appellant was dispensed with recites that no alternative employment was available under Roadways commensurate with qualifications and skills of appellant - Appellant could not also be appointed in workshop as he did not have any technical qualification - In said order it was also recited that additional compensation, as prescribed by Memorandum dt.20-8-1992, was calculated and was being paid to appellant - There was no dispute that such compensation was since paid - Applicability of provisions of s. 47 of Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights And Full Participation) Act, 1995 to the case of appellant, as strenuously urged on his behalf, could not arise in as much as appellant did not come within meaning of expression 'person with disability' as defined u/s. 2(t) of the Act -Further, appellant was found to be medically unfit to continue to work as a driver - His case for alternative employment in terms of Memorandum dt.20-8-1992 was duly considered - No such alternative employment was available - Consequently, additional compensation payable to appellant in terms of said Memorandum was calculated and paid - Further, superannuation of appellant, if he had continued in service, was due on 30-9-2004 - Taking into account totality of facts of instant case, SC was of view that award of Labour Court affirmed by HC by its order would not require any interference - Appeal dismissed.


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