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Case 1: 2006 (8) SCJ 837 Depot Manager, APSRTC Vs.

Raghuda Siva Sankar Prasad

Parties- Depot manager, APSRTC on the part of the employer Vs Raghuda Siva Sankar Prasad the convict Problem- Respondent, while working as Mechanic in appellant-Corporation, had committed theft of articles in the garage of Bus Depot . Facts-

Domestic enquiry conducted .Enquiry Officer found him guilty of charges framed against him . Basing on enquiry report, disciplinary authority removed him from service. Labour Court hold that punishment of removal was justified. Single Judge of High Court, in writ petition, set aside order or removal and directed reinstatement of respondent with continuity of service but without back wages On appeal, Division Bench upheld the order of single Judge . Judgment Theft committed by respondent amounted to misconduct . When he was found guilty of theft, Corporation had lost confidence or faith in him . Hence he had no legal right to continue in appellant Corporation. Punishment of removal from service was just and reasonable and proportionate to the proved misconduct. Labour Court had exercised its jurisdiction judiciously and fairly.

Interference with the order of Labour Court by single Judge and Division Bench was uncalled for Order of reinstatement passed by single Judge and upheld by Division Bench was contrary to law ,hence Order of Labour Court restored.

Case law- High Court may modify the punishment only when it finds that the punishment imposed is shockingly disproportionate to the charges proved No place for generosity or sympathy on the part of judicial forums for interfering with quantum of punishment.(CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, Article 226 Judicial review Quantum of punishment Interference with Held)

Case 2 :A.N. Bhoir and Ors. Vs The Tata Power Company Ltd. & Anr.

Parties- A.N. Bhoir and Ors. Vs The Tata Power Company Ltd. & Anr. Problem- Dismissal from services of the senior security guards in the security department at Trombay Thermal Power Station.

Facts Senior security guards, consuming liquor at 31.12.1999, were caught who admitted the guilt. night of

They were also medically examined and the medical report confirmed that breath of the petitioner workmen smelt strongly of alchohol, their eyes were red and there was tremor in hand. After holding proper enquiry, they were dismissed. Judgment-

Labour court upheld the enquiry punishment of dismissal from service.

and

restored

the

Petitioner workmen challanged the validity of enquiry that it was completed in 1 and half hours. Plea rejected by the High court in holding that even though there was no need of enquiry, the management has conducted it and the workmen have admitted the charge. Case-3 Phulbari Tea Estate vs Its Workmen on 6 May, 1959 Parties- PETITIONER: PHULBARI TEA ESTATE RESPONDENT: ITS WORKMEN Problem- The appellant is the Phulbari Tea Estate (hereinafter called the company). The case relates to the dismissal of one workman namely, B. N. Das (hereinafter called Das), which had been taken up by the Assam Chah Karmchari Sangh. which is a registered trade union. Facts A reference was made by the Government of Assam on March 8, 1956, to the Industrial Tribunal on the question whether the dismissal of Das was justified; and if not, whether he was entitled to reinstatement with or without compensation or any other relief in lieu thereof. Das was dismissed by the company on March 12, 1955. The charge against him was that on the night of February 6/7, 1955, he along with one Samson, also an employee of the company, committed theft of two wheels complete with tyres and tubes from the company's lorry, which amounted to gross misconduct under the Standing Orders. The case was reported to the police and 'Das as well as Samson were arrested. Das remained in jail up to February 25, 1955, when he was released on bail. He reported for duty on February 28 ; but the manager suspended him for ten days from March 1. Thereafter, he was served with a charge-sheet on March 10, 1955, asking

him to show cause why he should not be dismissed for gross misconduct as mentioned above. He gave a reply on March 11, that as the case was sub judice in the criminal court, the question of dismissal did not arise at that stage and the allegations against him would have to be proved in the court. On March 12, the manager held an enquiry, which was followed by dismissal, on that very day. However, the police submitted a final report and the magistrate discharged Das on March 23, 1955. Thereafter, his case was taken up by the union and eventually reference was made to the Tribunal on March 8, 1956. The Tribunal came to the conclusion that the dismissal of Das was not justified on the ground of proper procedure not having been followed and also for want of legal evidence. It went on to say that normally Das would have been entitled to reinstatement but in the peculiar circumstances of this case it was of opinion that he should be granted the alternative relief for compensation. Consequently, it ordered that Das would be entitled to his pay and allowances from February 28, to March 11, 1955 and full pay and allowances from March 12, till the date of payment. It also ordered that he would be entitled to fifteen day's pay for every completed year of service along with all benefits that accrued to him till the date of final payment. This award, was given on October 23,1956, and was in due course published and came into force. The company came up in appeal by special leave to the Supreme Court, where, for the first time it raised the question of the qualification and competency of the one member Tribunal under S. 7 Of the Act. Held, that the question whether the Tribunal was a competent one under s. 7 of the Industrial Disputes Act. Judgment The case was dismissed by the court. Principle The basic principle of natural justice in an enquiry was that the opponent must be given the opportunity of questioning the witnesses after knowing in full what they had to state against him. The witnesses on whom the party relied should

generally be examined in the presence of the opponent and he must also be informed about the material sought to be used against him, and given an opportunity to explain it. Held, further, that if there was defect in the conduct of the enquiry by the employer it could be cured if all the relevant evidence including the witnesses who were not examined in the presence of the workman were produced before the Tribunal, thereby giving the party an opportunity to crossexamine them, and leaving it to the Tribunal to consider the evidence and decide the case on merits.

Case4- Sri Kasi Nath Chakrabarty .. vs Central Bank Of India & Ors.
Parties- PETITIONER: SRI KASI NATH CHAKRABARTY RESPONDENT: CENTRAL BANK OF INDIA & ORS Problem- The petitioner was appointed as a clerk under the respondent No.1 on April 30, 1971. A show-cause notice dated April 11, 2006 was served upon him for non adherence to the norms and guidelines of the respondent bank in sanctioning loans to different persons .The petitioner was placed under suspension by an order dated May 3, 2006 pending disciplinary action. He submitted a reply dated June 16, 2006. Facts A charge-sheet dated July 4, 2006 was served upon the petitioner on the basis of the charges levelled against him as contained in the articles of charges. The petitioner submitted his reply dated July 13, 2006. The enquiry proceeding in the matter concluded on May 7, 2007. The Enquiry Officer submitted his report dated July 31,2007. Finally the disciplinary authority passed the impugned order of punishment dated December 3, 2007 with the punishment of "dismissal which shall ordinarily be a disqualification for future employment". The petitioner preferred a statutory appeal against the impugned order of punishment. The above appeal was

dismissed by the appellate authority by an order dated August 16, 2008. The petitioner then appealed to the high court. JudgmentTherefore, the charge-sheet dated July 4, 2006, the enquiry report dated July 12, 2007, the impugned order of punishment dated December 3, 2007 as also the order dated August 16, 2008 passed by the appellate authority in the matter are quashed and set aside. Since the petitioner has already attained the age of retirement on October 31, 2009, he cannot be reinstated in the service, but the consequential benefits shall be paid to him within a period of two months' from date. PrincipleThe disciplinary authority took a final decision of appointing enquiry officer for holding an enquiry at the time of issuing the charge- sheet under reference. It is a settled principles of law that the disciplinary proceedings in the matter started from issuing the charge-sheet. At that initial stage the disciplinary authority took a final decision of conducting enquiry in the matter without giving an opportunity to the petitioner for disclosing his defence before the disciplinary authority. Therefore, the petitioner was deprived of an opportunity for placing his defence before taking a decision for holding enquiry in the matter. It is the settled principles of law that the disciplinary authority was under an obligation to apply its mind upon receipt of the reply to the charge-sheet as to whether an enquiry was called for and only in the event upon deliberations and due consideration if it was in the affirmative, the enquiry proceeding was required to be initiated. In that view of the matter, the charge-sheet was issued in this case with closed mind. Case5- Balijan South Tea Estate vs Labour Court And Ors. on 27 January, 1967 Parties- The Petitioner- Eastern Assam Tea Company The respondent- Moneswar Dutta, Problem- The management, namely, the Eastern Assam Tea Company,Ltd., the petitioner herein, dismissed one Moneswar

Dutta, opposite party 3 in this petition, who was working as a woman mohorer in the Balijan South Tea Estate under the petitioner. Facts A charge was framed against Moneswar Dutta which stated that when the total quantity of the green leaves plucked by opposite party 3's daffa was re-weighed, a large discrepancy to the tune of 489-50 kilograms was found short against the figure shown by the opposite party 3 as representing the weight of the green leaves in question. This discrepancy indicated that the opposite party 3 had committed a grave misconduct in showing that the green leaves plucked leveled much more and payment had to Toe made on that weight than what actually it was. An explanation was called for from the opposite party 3 on this charge. Thereafter, the manager of the establishment", Sri J. P. Knight, held an enquiry and received and recorded evidence on the charge. This evidence was recorded in the presence of the opposite party 3 who was given an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses which opportunity, however, he did not avail himself of. He was given an opportunity further to offer his explanation, if any, at the conclusion of the enquiry but he had co explanation to submit explaining his conduct In respect of the charge. He further did not want to cross-examine anybody even at that stage. On the conclusion of the proceedings, taking into account the fact that the opposite party 3 had no explanation to offer at the enquiry, the enquiring officer felt satisfied that the charge had been established. Dutta, in fact, had no explanation to submit at the enquiry. The present grave offence he had committed coupled with his paat warning for an offence of a similar nature and his complete disregard of the instructions given to him In respect of green-leaf weighment by the management. had rendered him liable to Instant dismissal. Thereafter, the manager served a notice on 28 November 1961 intimating opposite party 3 that the evidence available

at the enquiry established his guilt; that the verbal explanations offered by him at the enquiry were found most unsatisfactory and that he was found guilty of gross misconduct under the standing Order 10 (a)(2) and that accordingly he had been dismissed from the service of the company with effect from 28 November 1961. Sri Choudhuri, the learned Counsel for the opposite party 3, contended that the original enquiry proceedings had not been produced In the case, that, therefore, there is nothing to show what evidence had actually been given, that there was no enquiry report made and that, therefore, the enquiry must be held to be bad and that this entitled the presiding officer of the labour court to reopen the matter, invite fresh evidence and to come to his own conclusion, as he did in this case, and that his award could not, therefore, be questioned. JudgmentAs there is nothing wrong with the enquiry by way of its offending the principles of natural justice and as sufficient record of the enquiry is forthcoming and also of the reasons for the conclusion reached by the enquiring officer in holding the opposite party guilty of the charge and for giving the punishment that has been given to him, namely, of dismissal, the presiding officer of the labour court was not at all justified in reopening the matter and recording fresh evidence as if the domestic enquiry was bad, as Indicated above. circumstances In which the presiding officer of the labour court could reopen a domestic enquiry and interfere with a conclusion reached therein and take fresh evidence and come to his own conclusions have been set out in more than one decision of ours wherein we made it clear that unless and until the labour court is satisfied that there has been violation of the principles of natural justice and consequential failure of justice or that the finding reached by the management is perverse on account of total lack of evidence, there would be no justification for the labour court to interfere with the finding of the management. Hence the petition is allowed set aside the award of the presiding officer of the labour court and restore the order of the management dismissing the opposite party from service.

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