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Rajratan Global Wire Ltd. v/s Laxman Verma

    M.P. No. 3013 of 2018

    Decided On, 26 October 2018

    At, High Court of Madhya Pradesh Bench at Indore

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE VIVEK RUSIA

    For the Appellant: Girish Patwardhan, Advocate. For the Respondent: ----



Judgment Text

1. Heard on the question of admission.

2. The petitioner has filed the present petition being aggrieved by order dated 03.02.2016 by which the labour court Pithampur, Dist. Dhar, has initiated the departmental enquiry and also challenged the order dated 19.07.2017 (pronounced on 12.09.2017) by which order dated 21.08.2009, has been set aside and directed for payment of wages from the date of termination till the age of superannuation to the respondent.

3. There was employer employee relations between the petitioner and the respondent. The petitioner is a company incorporated under the Companies Act, engaged in the business of manufacturing and the sale of steel wires, having it's plant at 200-B, Sector I, Pithampur, Dhar. The respondent filed an application under the provisions of MPIR Act, challenging the oral termination on 01.05.2005, which was allowed and he was directed to reinstate in to the service. The aforesaid order was challenged before the industrial court by the petitioner but remained unsuccessful. The respondent reported for joining on 04.08.2008, but he was not permitted to join then he sent his joining by way of registered post. Later on, the respondent was served with the charge sheet and directed to appear before the enquiry officer on 15.07.2009. The respondent appeared and demanded the charge sheet documents copy of complaint and other documents. According to the respondent, he was not served all these documents and was not given the next date of hearing and by way of oral order dated 22.12.2008, he was not permitted to enter into the premises. He again approached the Labour Court under Section 33(c)(2) of the Industrial Dispute Act, for claiming the wages.

4. The present petitioner appeared before the Labour Court and submitted that the respondent was served a notice dated 16.12.2008, directing him to join the duties, but he did not join the duty. Thereafter, he was issued a charge sheet dated 06.02.2009 and after completing the departmental enquiry vide order dated 22.08.2009, his services has been terminated.

5. The respondent raised the industrial dispute before the Labour Commissioner, Pithampur. The conciliation proceeding took place and ended into failure on 08.12.2011. Vide order dated 01.06.2012, a dispute was referred to the Labour Court, Pithampur as to whether the termination of the respondent as workman is valid or illegal ?.

6. After receipt of the reference, the respondent being a first party submitted his claim and assailed the validity of departmental enquiry and order of termination and sought the relief of reinstatement with back-wages.

7. The present petitioner being a second party filed a reply that respondent has rightly been terminated due to absence from the duty. A regular departmental enquiry was conducted against him in which charges were found too. The respondent has already attained the age of superannuation on 05.06.2011 and, therefore, the reference has rendered infructuous.

8. The learned Labour Judge framed three issues for adjudication, apart from the terms of reference. The respondent examined himself and he was cross examined himself.

9. The trial court heard the matter initially in respect of the validity of the departmental enquiry. Vide order dated 03.02.2016, the learned Labour Judge has held that the departmental enquiry conduced by the petitioner was against the principles of natural justice. The respondent was not granted ample opportunity as he was not provided the necessary document. He was also not given opportunity to submit his defence. Vide order dated 03.02.2016, the Labour Court has declared the D.E. As illegal and vitiated the departmental enquiry and further granted time to the petitioner to lead evidence in order to prove the charge against the respondent before the Labnour Court. The petitioner did not examine any witness in order to prove the charges hence, vide order dated 19.07.2017, the Labour Court has declared the order of termination dated 21.08.2009 as illegal and improper. Since the respondent has already attained the age of superannuation, the Labour Court directed the petitioner to pay the salary and other benefits to him payable from 21.08.2009 to 05.06.2011, within a period of one month from the declaration of the award and if the payment is not made then, the respondent shall be entitled to get the interest at the rate of 10%.

10. Being aggrieved by the aforesaid two awards dated 03.02.2016 and 19.07.2017, the petitioner has filed the present petition before this Court.

11. I have heard Shri G.S. Patwardhan, learned counsel for the petitioner and perused the record of the Labour Court.

12. Shri Patwardhan, learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the Labour Court has unnecessary answered the reference, which has rendered infructuous due to retirement of the respondent w.e.f. 05.06.2011. Since the respondent has already attained the age of superannuation and, therefore, he cannot be reinstated into the service, therefore, order of termination was not liable to be examined, since the respondent himself did not join the duties and performed the work, therefore, he is not liable to get the wages and other benefit for the said period under the principle of 'no work no pay' hence, notice be issued to the respondent and admit the petition for final hearing.

13. The respondent was orally terminated by the manager of the petitioner on 01.05.2005, which he assailed before the Labour Court. The Labour Court had set aside the said termination and directed for reinstatement. The respondent submitted a joining on 04.08.2008, but the same was not accepted. Thereafter, he sent a joining letter by way of registered post through Advocate.

14. The petitioner preferred an appeal before the Industrial Court that had been dismissed vide order dated 18.12.2008. Thereafter, he served with the charge sheet and directed to appear before the enquiry officer. The respondent appeared before the enquiry officer and demanded the charge sheet and other documents. According to him, he was not even given the next date of hearing and behind his back, order of termination was passed. He approached the Labour Court under Section 33(c)(2) of the Industrial Dispute Act for the first time on 31.01.2012. The respondent examined himself, but the present petitioner did not examine any witness. The learned Labour Court found that though he was served with the charge sheet, but in support of the charge sheet document relied by the petitioner, list of the witnesses were not supplied to him. The petitioner examined the witnesses in D.E. behind the back of the respondent. He was not given opportunity of cross examination. He was not given any notice for appearance before the departmental enquiry on 15.07.2009, therefore, the entire enquiry has rightly been vitiated by the Labour Court. Thereafter, the petitioner was given opportunity to prove the charges bef

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ore the Labour Court, but the petitioner did not examine any witness to prove the charges of unathorized absence and the Labour Court has rightly declared the order of termination dated 21.08.2009 as illegal. Since the respondent has attained the age of superannuation during the pendency of the reference, therefore, the learned Labour Court has also rightly granted the relief of payment of wages and other benefit from 21.08.2009 to 05.06.2011. Therefore, I do not find any infirmity and illegality in the order and award of the Labour Court. The petitioner - manufacturer has utterly failed to establish the charges before the Labour Court. 15. The petitioner is, accordingly, dismissed in-limine, without notice to the respondent. Record of the Labour Court be sent back.
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