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HT Media Ltd. v/s GNCT of Delhi & Another

    W.P. (C). No. 812 of 2020 & CM. APPL. No. 2540 of 2020

    Decided On, 23 December 2021

    At, High Court of Delhi

    By, THE HONOURABLE MS. JUSTICE PRATHIBA M. SINGH

    For the Petitioner: Raavi Birbal, Advocate. For the Respondents: Naushad Ahmed Khan, ASC.



Judgment Text

Judgment (Oral)

1. This hearing has been done in physical Court. Hybrid mode is permitted in cases where permission is being sought from the Court.

2. The challenge in this writ petition is to the impugned reference dated 27th May 2019 passed by the Deputy Labour Commissioner, New Delhi District in F. No. 24(41)/17/WJA/DLC/NDD/2015/4083 filed by the Respondent No. 2/Prem Chand Sinha/Workman (hereinafter "Workman") against the Management of HT Media (hereinafter "Management") in respect of claims of arrears of wages raised by the Workman whose details are as under:

“Prem Chand Sinha, E-71, Lane No. 3, East Vinod Nagar Delhi-91.”

3. In the earlier round of litigation between the Management and the Workman regarding the same dispute, the parties had settled their issues and a memorandum of settlement (hereinafter "settlement") dated 17 June 2016 entered into between the Management and the Workman in respect of Workman's claim for arrears in salary. In terms of the said settlement, which was recorded before the Court vide order dated 13th July, 2016 in WP(C) 11137/2015 titled HT Media Limited v. Deputy Labour Commissioner & Anr. the following order was passed:

“CM No. 24342/2016

Even though, a joint application under Order XXIII Rule 3 CPC has been filed by petitioner and the respondent No. 2, learned Counsel for the petitioner states that in view of the settlement entered by the petitioner with the respondent No. 2, he wishes to withdraw the Writ Petition. The petition is dismissed as withdrawn. Consequently, all the pending applications have become infructuous and dismissed as infructuous. The date already fixed, i.e, 4th August, 2016 stands cancelled.”

4. As per the Terms of Settlement, the Workman was to be paid Rs. 1,50,000/- towards expenses and compensation as full and final settlement of all the disputes/claims/demands/dues of any kind whatsoever against the Management. It is not disputed that the said amount was duly paid by the Management. The case of the Management is that the said amount having been paid, the same very issues could not be re-agitated by the Workman and hence the impugned reference which ignores the earlier settlement entered into between the parties is not tenable.

5. In this matter, the notice was issued by the Court on 22nd January, 2020. Counter affidavits have been filed by the Workman. However, thereafter they have stopped appearing in the matter.

6. Perusal of the earlier orders and the settlement as also the cheque payment and the receipts which are placed on record by the Management shows that the workman has been paid the agreed amounts and in fact much higher amount has been paid by the Management as per mutual understanding in lieu of the settlement of claims/demands/disputes etc. against the Management.

7. In view of the aforesaid, the filing of the claim petition by the Workman once again and issuance of summons against the Management, as also the framing of the reference by the ld. Deputy Labour Commissioner would be contrary to

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the settlements entered between the parties and recognised by this Court which has already attained finality. 8. Accordingly, the impugned reference order dated 27th May, 2019 is quashed. 9. No further orders are called for. The petition is disposed of. The pending application is disposed of. Petition disposed of.
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