Supreme Court Of India

Suresh Bharti V. State of Rajasthan v

Civil Appeal No. 1592 Of 2004 (Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 12987 Of 2003). 12-03-2004

JUDGMENT

1. Leave granted.

2. Heard the learned counsel for the parties. The appellant aggrieved by termination of his service raised a dispute which was referred to the Labour Court for adjudication. The Labour Court recorded a finding that the appellant had completed 240 days in the employment of the respondent and that his service was terminated without compliance with Section 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act. Since there was a delay of nine years, the appellant was granted the relief of reinstatement with back wages to the extent of only 25% of the wages.

3. Aggrieved by the award of the Labour Court the respondent filed a writ petition. The writ petition was dismissed by the High Court, upholding the order passed by the Labour Court. The Respondent here, filed an appeal before the Division Bench. The High Court, while disposing of the appeal, upheld the findings that the appellant had worked for 240 days and further about non-compliance of the provisions of Section 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act, but modified the relief by awarding a lump sum compensation of twenty five thousand only in place of reinstatement with 25% of wages as awarded by Labour Court and upheld by the learned Single Judge. We find that the main reason that has been assigned by the Division Bench for upsetting the relief awarded by the Labour Court is that the appellant had made a statement about his emoluments that he was getting Rs. 660/- though receipts and record showed his salary as Rs. 150/-. It is observed that such a statement may have been made with a view to deny his actual status of part time employment. However, we find that no positive finding has ever been recorded at any time that the appellant was a part time worker. Payment of lesser salary does not lead to only inference of part time employment. In any case his termination has been held to be unlawful by the Division Bench also.

4. The learned counsel for the appellant-submits that in three similar cases, where award was given by the Labour Court in the same terms as in the present one, namely reinstatement with 25% of back wages, the awards have been upheld by the Single Judge, the Division Bench as well as by this Court. The copies of the orders in those cases have also been placed on record. It is also indicated that in those cases also the delay was for a period of nine years as in this case and also the plea about the amount of emoluments but the award of the Labour Court have not been interfered by any court including this Court.

5. Considering all the facts and circumstances and the fact that according to the findings recorded by the Labour Court upheld by the Division Bench of the High Court that the appellant had worked for 240 days and the termination of his service was in violation of Section 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act, we hardly find any justification to interfere in the order and the award given by the Labour Court, including the relief granted to the appellant.

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