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A. BALAJEE VERSUS PRESIDING OFFICER, LABOUR court, GODAVARIKHANI

    W.P. 16412 Of 1993

    Decided On, 24 April 1996

    At, High Court of Andhra Pradesh

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.V. MARUTHI

    For the Appearing Parties: Sadu Rajesvara Reddy, Vijayanthi, Advocates.



Judgment Text

S.V. MARUTHI, J.


(1) THIS Writ Petition is filed against the award of the Chairman, Industrial tribunal-cum-Labour Court in ld. No. 182 of 1992 dated 26-2-1993. The brief facts of the case are as follows:-


(2) THE petitioner was working as a conduct or in the 1st respondent-Corporation. He was removed from service vide proceedings dated 29-11 -19 82 on the ground that he committed certain irregularities in respect of cash and tickets. Against the ord

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er of removal, he approached the industrial Tribunal under Section 2-A (2) of the industrial Disputes Act, seeking the remedy of setting aside the order of the respondents removing him from service and for reinstatement in service.


(3) THE Tribunal rejected the application of the petitioner on the ground that there is a delay in approaching the Tribunal for the relief claimed. Challenging the findings of the Tribunal, the present Writ Petition is filed.


(4) ADMITTEDLY the petitioner was removed from service on 29-11-1982 and he approached the Tribunal in June, 1992. There is a delay of 10 years. The Tribunal while holding that there is a delay in seeking relief, relied on M/s. Shalimar Works Limited v. Their Workmen (1) AIR 1959 SC 1217.


(5) IN Shalimar Works Limited case (1 supra), the Supreme Court held that -". . . IT is true that there is no limitation prescribed for reference of disputes to an Industrial Tribunal; even so it is only reasonable that disputes should be referred as soon as possible after they have arisen and after conciliation proceedings have filed, particularly so when disputes relate to discharge of workmen wholesale. But where none of the workers did this, for almost three years, when the first reference was made, the tribunal would be justified in refusing the relief of reinstatement to avoid dislocation of the industry specially so when the reference was made. . . . . "the Judgment in Shalimar Works Limited case (1 supra) was delivered by a bench consisting of Shri Justice B. P. Sinha, Shri justice P.B. Gajendragadkar and Shri justice K. N. Wanchoo.


(6) HOWEVER, the Supreme Court in Jai bhagwan v. Management, A. C. Co-op bank Ltd. (2) AIR 1984 SC 286, held that -". . . HAVING regard to the circumstances that the workman raised an Industrial dispute after considerable delay without doing anything in the meanwhile to question the termination of his services, we do not think that we will be justified in awarding full back wages. We think that award of half the back wages from the date of termination of service until today and full back wages from this day until reinstatement will meet the ends of the justice". The facts of Jai Bhagwan Case (2 supra) are that the services of the employee were terminated by an order dated 31st January, 1975 and he sought the reference to the tribunal on 15-12-1980. So, under these circumstances, it was held that the employee is not entitled for full back wages on account of delay and the learned Judges have not held that the reference cannot be maintained on account of delay. This judgment was delivered by Sri Justice D.A. Desai, Sri justice O. Chinnappa Reddy and Sri justice a. Varadarqjan.


(7) THE judgment of the Supreme Court in jai Bhagwan case (2 supra) was followed by a learned single Judge of this Court in Indian Airlines v. A. Philips (3) 1989 (1) alt 607. I have also followed the judgment of the Supreme Court in Jai Bhagwan case (2 supra) in Writ Petition No. 28 of 1993 dated 5-4-1996.


(8) ADMITTEDLY the judgment of the supreme Court in Jai Bhagwan case (2 supra) was not brought to the notice of the tribunal. It is true that in Shalimar Works limited case (1 supra), the Supreme Court held that the workmen should approach the tribunal within a reasonable period though no period of limitation is prescribed for seeking a reference. It was by a bench consisting of three Judges. Whereas in Jai bhagwan case (2 supra), it was held that delay in seeking a reference or approaching the Tribunal does not disentitle him for claiming any relief, and it cannot be rejected on the ground of delay. This judgment was also by a bench consisting of three Judges. Since, the judgment in Jai Bhagwan case (2 supra) is a later judgment, the said judgment is to be followed, though, I am of the view that earlier view expressed in Shalimar Works Limited case (1 supra) by the Supreme Court is correct one.


(9) IN view of the above, the award of the tribunal dated 26-2-1993 is set aside and the mater is remanded to the Tribunal to consider the matter on merits. The Tribunal is directed to dispose it of within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. The Writ Petition is accordingly allowed. There will be no order as to costs.
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