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Motherson Sume Systems Ltd. v/s Presiding Officer, Labour Court & Another

    Writ-C No. 17737 of 2019

    Decided On, 03 June 2020

    At, High Court of Judicature at Allahabad


    For the Petitioner: Siddharth Khare, Ashok Khare, Senior Counsel. For the Respondent: C.S.C., Shekhar Srivastava II, Advocate.

Judgment Text

1. When the service of the Respondent No.2 was terminated by a communication dated 27.3.1997 she raised an Industrial Dispute. Initially the Respondent No.2 had approached the Assistant Labour Commissioner, Noida, for conciliation but when it failed, the Deputy Labour Commissioner made a reference to the Labour Court-II Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on 20.5.2000.

2. The order by which the reference was made read as under:

[Vernacular omitted]

3. Pleadings were exchanged. Oral evidence were also led and ultimately on 24.8.2017 an award was passed. However, after the hearing was completed and before the award was passed on 8.8.2017, the Petitioner filed an application before the Labour Court alleging prejudice. Thereafter even though the Presiding Officer had thought it appropriate to pass the award on 24.8.2017, certain directions were issued on 21.2.2018 based on the Petitioner's application dated 8.8.2017. On 10.12.2018, a further award was passed and on the Award, dated 24.8.2017 it was endorsed on 10.12.2018 that the Award dated 10.12.2018 would be a part of the Award, dated 24.8.2017 as per the Order dated 21.2.2018. A composite award was served upon the Petitioner on 28.2.2019 and, thereafter, on 13.3.2019, the Petitioner filed a Review Application for reviewing the Award dated 24.8.2017. However, without waiting for the Review Application to be decided, the Petitioner filed the instant Writ Petition with a prayer that the Award, dated 24.8.2017/10.12.2018 be quashed.

4. Learned Senior Counsel Sri Ashok Khare Assistated by Sri Siddharth Khare submitted that the award be set aside as the reference itself was erroneous inasmuch as the reference did not mention the name of the Employer. The date on which the service of the Respondent No.2 was terminated was also wrong. Further contention of the learned Counsel for the Petitioner was that the Respondent No.2 was not a Workman as she was engaged as a Supervisor and she had a supervisory control over Workmen under her. She had to check and re-check the manufactured items which were manufactured by the Petitioner after looking into their quality. Learned Counsel for the Petitioner further submitted that if the oral statement of the Respondent No.2 on 14.9.2006 was perused it would become very clear that she herself had stated that she was performing the job of an Executive at the time of her termination. He submitted that this statement of the Respondent No.2 was not considered in its right perspective by the Labour Court and, therefore, the award had reached an erroneous conclusion that the Respondent No.2 was a Workman. In fact, learned Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that the Labour Court after taking cognizance of the statements of the Respondent No.2 did not deal with it properly. Learned Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that if the further Award dated 10.12.2018 had to be passed then the matter ought to have been heard in toto without earlier delivering the award on 24.8.2017. He submitted that the award could not have been passed in piecemeal. Learned Counsel for the Petitioner also submitted that when the Respondent No.2 on the stipulated date did not produce her Passbook an adverse inference ought to have been drawn against her and it could not have been concluded that the Respondent No.2 had not been gainfully employed after her termination.

5. The Respondent No.2 even though had not filed any Counter Affidavit, her Counsel Sri Shekhar Srivastava vehemently submitted that the Petitioner always took part in the proceedings and was aware of the name of the Employer and also the date on which the termination took place. He also drew the attention of the Court to the observations in the award of the prescribed Authority and submitted that the statements of the Respondent No.2 were properly dealt with. He submitted that the conclusion of the Labour Court that the Respondent No.2 was a Workman could not be interfered with. Learned Counsel for the Respondent No.2 further submitted that there was nothing wrong when the Labour Court had passed the Additional Award.

6. Having heard the learned Counsel for the parties, this Court is of the view that the Award dated 24.8.2017 and 10.12.2018 passed by the Presiding Officer, Labour Court, U.P. Noida, District-Gautam Budh Nagar cannot be sustained in the eyes of law. The oral statement of the Respondent No.2 on 14.9.2006, though was taken into account by the Labour Court, was not dealt with in its right perspective. The Labour Court, therefore, fell in error when it only mentioned about the oral statement but did not deal about its importance vis-a-vis the case. The Court also finds that when it was being specifically emphasized by the Petitioner that the name of the Petitioner was not mentioned in the reference order and that the date of the termination was wrong then these errors ought to have been rectified. Further, the Court finds that when the date was fixed for the production of the Passbook etc. for assessing as to whether the Respondent No.2, in fact, after her termination had been gainfully employed and when she did not produce the relevant documents then the Labour Court should have summoned the documents from the relevant source and could not have drawn an inference in favour of the Respondent No.2.

7. Under such circumstances, the Awards dated 24.8.2017 and 10.12.2018 passed by the Presiding Officer, Labour Court, U.P. Noida, District-Gautam B

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udh Nagar are set aside. The Labour Court shall now hear the matter afresh without, however, insisting for fresh evidence. It shall be deemed that the Employer is the Petitioner and the date of termination is 27.3.1997. The only fresh evidence which can be called for by the Labour Court would be the Passbook of the Respondent No.2 which would indicate as to what her earnings were after her termination. This exercise shall be completed within a period of two months from the date of production of a certified copy of this order. 8. With the above observations, the Writ Petition stands partly allowed.