w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



The Management, Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Kumbakonam) Limited, Represented by its General Manager, Trichy Region, Trichirapalli v/s The Special Deputy Commissioner of Labour, DMS Campus, Anna Salai, Chennai & Another


Company & Directors' Information:- TRANSPORT CORPORATION OF INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = L70109TG1995PLC019116

Company & Directors' Information:- S. M. MANAGEMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140AS2005PTC007642

Company & Directors' Information:- A S TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U60222TN1981PTC008886

Company & Directors' Information:- B K B TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U50300JH1990PTC004226

Company & Directors' Information:- C & K MANAGEMENT LIMITED [Active] CIN = U91990TG2000PLC033293

Company & Directors' Information:- M Y TRANSPORT COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63090UP2002PTC026917

Company & Directors' Information:- V K TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22219GJ1997PTC032421

Company & Directors' Information:- S M MANAGEMENT PVT LTD [Not available for efiling] CIN = U74140WB1992PTC002848

Company & Directors' Information:- S M MANAGEMENT PVT LTD [Not available for efiling] CIN = U74140WB1992PTC057260

Company & Directors' Information:- G S TRANSPORT PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U63090WB1989PTC047780

Company & Directors' Information:- G B TRANSPORT (INDIA) PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U63090WB1979PTC032170

Company & Directors' Information:- V A TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45202WB1996PTC081673

Company & Directors' Information:- H R T TRANSPORT COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U63031DL1999PTC102593

Company & Directors' Information:- G M TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60100MH1994PTC076183

Company & Directors' Information:- G L TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U60200CH2010PTC032269

Company & Directors' Information:- R AND P TRANSPORT CO. PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U60231OR2006PTC027280

Company & Directors' Information:- R AND P TRANSPORT CO. PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U60231DL2006PTC149707

Company & Directors' Information:- V. N. TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63090DL2004PTC125632

Company & Directors' Information:- C AND M TRANSPORT P LTD [Active] CIN = U60300MH1994PTC078458

Company & Directors' Information:- G R C TRANSPORT COMPANY PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U63090WB1988PTC044164

Company & Directors' Information:- E C TRANSPORT LTD [Active] CIN = U63090WB1987PLC043252

Company & Directors' Information:- D G R TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U60231TZ2010PTC016521

Company & Directors' Information:- P T TRANSPORT PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U63090WB1989PTC046423

Company & Directors' Information:- TRANSPORT INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60230OR2007PTC009590

Company & Directors' Information:- C R TRANSPORT COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U63090DL2002PTC115826

Company & Directors' Information:- A P M TRANSPORT COMPANY LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60231KL1998PLC012555

Company & Directors' Information:- T. G. TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U02710CT2004PTC017051

Company & Directors' Information:- J. T. TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63031WB2007PTC112457

Company & Directors' Information:- R S R TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U60210TZ1961PTC000392

Company & Directors' Information:- A & A TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U63010TN2008PTC070171

Company & Directors' Information:- S P TRANSPORT COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1994PTC059085

Company & Directors' Information:- W P MANAGEMENT INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U40100TG2016PTC112006

Company & Directors' Information:- SPECIAL TRANSPORT LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U63030MH1996PTC100560

Company & Directors' Information:- A B TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U60221RJ2000PTC016701

Company & Directors' Information:- S R MANAGEMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140MH2000PTC129839

Company & Directors' Information:- G. G. TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60210AS2008PTC008576

Company & Directors' Information:- A P K TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60221TN2005PTC058057

Company & Directors' Information:- S P S TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U63090WB1997PTC085564

Company & Directors' Information:- TRANSPORT COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U60210TN1938PTC003051

Company & Directors' Information:- Y H MANAGEMENT INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U93030MH2012PTC238901

Company & Directors' Information:- A G L TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63090TN2005PTC056306

Company & Directors' Information:- V M G MANAGEMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74140WB2011PTC160061

Company & Directors' Information:- W M TRANSPORT COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U60210DL2001PTC113547

Company & Directors' Information:- B V M TRANSPORT CO. PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U00739KA1998PTC024103

Company & Directors' Information:- A O TRANSPORT COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U99999MH1960PTC011783

Company & Directors' Information:- M B MANAGEMENT PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U99999MH1981PTC025914

Company & Directors' Information:- M R TRANSPORT COMPANY PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U63090WB1987PTC042118

Company & Directors' Information:- P P TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U63090DL2003PTC119167

Company & Directors' Information:- D D J TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60210PB1996PTC019190

Company & Directors' Information:- M M TRANSPORT PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U60231PB1979PTC004031

Company & Directors' Information:- J P TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60231PB1997PTC019652

Company & Directors' Information:- N P TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U63090OR2012PTC015128

Company & Directors' Information:- A N G TRANSPORT COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U60300MH2013PTC246013

Company & Directors' Information:- L M A TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U63090MH2002PTC135727

Company & Directors' Information:- K. G. N. TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH2017PTC301073

Company & Directors' Information:- W P MANAGEMENT INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201TG2016PTC112006

Company & Directors' Information:- B S TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U63040TG2015PTC097190

Company & Directors' Information:- K AND A TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60200HP2010PTC031455

Company & Directors' Information:- K. C. TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63030JK2017PTC009897

Company & Directors' Information:- S N TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U60200DL2014PTC264029

Company & Directors' Information:- R. D. CAMPUS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999DL2017PTC326936

Company & Directors' Information:- I & J MANAGEMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93000DL2016PTC292375

Company & Directors' Information:- R J TRANSPORT COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63010DL2013PTC248305

Company & Directors' Information:- D C TRANSPORT MANAGEMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63040DL2005PTC133484

Company & Directors' Information:- S. K. T. TRANSPORT INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60230MP2012PTC028886

Company & Directors' Information:- H AND S MANAGEMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140KL2005PTC018253

Company & Directors' Information:- M-D REGION INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999UP2019PTC115616

Company & Directors' Information:- D C V TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60210TZ1960PTC000375

Company & Directors' Information:- P V E TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U60210TN1961PTC004682

Company & Directors' Information:- M A S MANAGEMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74999DL1987PTC029434

Company & Directors' Information:- THE TRANSPORT COMPANY LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U99999MH1940PLC010301

Company & Directors' Information:- L AND T (MANAGEMENT) LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U99999MH1946PTC004765

    W.P. No. 10985 of 2018 & W.M.P. No. 12892 of 2018

    Decided On, 01 October 2020

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.D. AUDIKESAVALU

    For the Petitioner: D. Venkatachalam, Standing Counsel. For the Respondents: R1, D. Sathyaraj, Special Government Pleader, R2, V. Ajoy Khose, Advocate.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, calling for the records pertaining to the order dated 14.09.2017 passed by the First Respondent in Approval Petition No. 31 of 2014 and quash the same, consequently direct the First Respondent to approve the order of the Petitioner dated 02.01.2014 dismissing the Second Respondent from service.)(through video conference)Heard Mr. D.Venkatachalam, Learned Standing Counsel appearing for the Petitioner, Mr. D.Sathyaraj, Learned Special Government Pleader appearing for the First Respondent and Mr. V.Ajoy Khose, Learned Counsel for the Second Respondent and perused the materials placed on record, apart from the pleadings of the parties.2. The Second Respondent, who was employed as driver, had been terminated from service by the Petitioner by Order No. TNSTC/D6/Pa/192/2010 dated 23.03.2013 on the charge of negligent driving. Since conciliation proceedings relating to an industrial dispute between the Petitioner and the Trade Union in which the Second Respondent was a member was then pending before the First Respondent, the Petitioner had made an application under Section 33(2)(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the -Act- for short) for approval of termination, but it was rejected by order dated 14.09.2017 in A.P. No. 31 of 2014 passed by the First Respondent. Aggrieved thereby, the Petitioner has filed this Writ Petition challenging the same.3. It is evident from the impugned order that the First Respondent has examined the application for approval made by the Petitioner with reference to the relevant aspects stipulated in the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Lalla Ram -vs- D.C.M. Chemical Works Ltd. [(1978) 3 SCC 1], which are as follows:-(i) whether a proper domestic enquiry in accordance with the relevant rules/Standing Orders and principles of natural justice has been held;(ii) whether a prima facie case for dismissal based on legal evidence adduced before the domestic tribunal is made out;(iii) whether the employer had come to a bona fide conclusion that the employee was guilty and the dismissal did not amount to unfair labour practice and was not intended to victimise the employee;(iv) whether the employer has paid or offered to pay wages for one month to the employee; and(v) whether the employer has simultaneously or within such reasonably short time as to form part of the same transaction applied to the authority before which the main industrial dispute is pending for approval of the action taken by him.4. The First Respondent came to the conclusion that the requirement in items (iv) and (v) had been satisfied and in respect of the aspects in items (i) and (ii), it was held that since the Second Respondent has been subsequently acquitted by the judgment dated 18.09.2014 passed by the Judicial Magistrate from the charge of negligent driving and against which no appeal has been preferred, the domestic enquiry has not been conducted following the Rules, Standing Orders and the principles of natural justice and prima facie case has not been made out. It was opined that since the aspects in items (i) and (ii) have not been satisfied, it would follow for item (iii) that the dismissal of the Second Respondent is an act of victimization.5. Insofar as the question relating to validity of the domestic enquiry is concerned, it would be necessary to focus here that the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the decision in John D-Souza -vs- Karnataka State Transport Corporation (Order dated 16.10.2019 in Civil Appeal No. 8042 of 2019) has explained the law relating to the procedure to be adopted in a proceeding for approval under Section 33(2)(b) of the Act with reference to the earlier rulings, as follows:-“31. This Court in the above cited decisions has, in no uncertain terms, divided the scope of enquiry by the Labour Court/Tribunal while exercising jurisdiction under Section 33(2)(b) in two phases. Firstly, the Labour Court/Tribunal will consider as to whether or not a prima facie case for discharge or dismissal is made out on the basis of the domestic enquiry if such enquiry does not suffer from any defect, namely, it has not been held in violation of principles of natural justice and the conclusion arrived at by the employer is bona fide or that there was no unfair labour practice or victimisation of the workman. This entire exercise has to be undertaken by the Labour Court/Tribunal on examination of the record of enquiry and nothing more. In the event where no defect is detected, the approval must follow. The second stage comes when the Labour Court/Tribunal finds that the domestic enquiry suffers from one or the other legal ailment. In that case, the Labour Court/Tribunal shall permit the parties to adduce their respective evidence and on appraisal thereof the Labour Court/Tribunal shall conclude its enquiry whether the discharge or any other punishment including dismissal was justified....34. It, thus, stands out that though the Labour Court or the Tribunal while exercising their jurisdiction under Section 33(2)(b) are empowered to permit the parties to lead evidence in respect of the legality and propriety of the domestic enquiry held into the misconduct of a workman, such evidence would be taken into consideration by the Labour Court or the Tribunal only if it is found that the domestic enquiry conducted by the Management on the scale that the standard of proof required therein can be `preponderance of probability’ and not a `proof beyond all reasonable doubts’ suffers from inherent defects or is violative of principles of natural justice. In other words, the Labour Court or the Tribunal cannot without first examining the material led in the domestic enquiry jump to a conclusion and mechanically permit the parties to lead evidence as if it is an essential procedural part of the enquiry to be held under Section 33(2)(b) of the Act.“Viewed from this perspective, if the Second Respondent had been of the opinion that the domestic enquiry suffered from any infirmity, it ought to have disclosed the same to the parties and thereafter called upon them to adduce their evidence in support of their respective contentions and then finally decided the validity of the domestic enquiry.6. At this juncture, it must be recapitulated here that the Constitution Bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation -vs- Lakshmidevamma [(2001) 5 SCC 433] has held that in order to avoid unnecessary delay and multiplicity of proceedings, when an employer seeks approval under Section 33(2)(b) of the Act, leave to lead additional evidence to support the action in the alternative and without prejudice to his rights and contentions has to be made in application itself. In this case, it is seen from para 6 of Form-T that the Petitioner has sought for such leave.7. As it is apparent that the exercise in accordance with the procedure required to be followed in the aforesaid binding decisions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India had not been undertaken by the First Respondent in this case, it would not be possible to uphold the impugned order refusing approval for termination of the First Respondent.8. The result of the foregoing discussion is that the impugned order dated 14.09.2017 in A.P. No. 31 of 2014 passed by the First Respondent, which cannot be sustained, is set aside and the matter is remitted back to the First Respondent for deciding the matter afresh in the required manner. In order to expedite disposal, the matter shall be listed for hearing before the First Respondent at 11.00 a.m. on 03.12.2020 when the Petitioner and the Second Respondent shall appear in person or through their authorized representative as well as on the subsequent dates to which it is adjourned. If the First Respondent is not in a position to take up the matter for hearing on that date, it shall inform all parties concerned of the date of hearing to which it is adjourned in the prescribed manner. It shall be ensured by the First Respondent that there is atleast one effective hearing every week showing progress of the case, that full opportunity of hearing is afforded to all parties concerned following the prescribed procedure in consonance with the principles of natural justice, that reasoned orders are passed dealing with each of the contentions raised by them on merits and in accordance with law, that the decision taken is communicated to the concerned parties under written acknowledgment and that proof of such compliance is filed by 31.03.2021 before the Registrar (Judicial) of this Court. Though obvious, it is made clear that while deciding the matter, the First Respondent shall not be inhibited or influenced by the impugned order, which has been set aside.9. Learned Counsel for the Second Respondent submits that the Second Respondent is also entitled to the benefit of reinstatement in service in terms of clause (23) of the Settlement dated 28.09.1995 under Section 12(3) of the Act entered between the Petitioner and the Trade Union in which the Second Respondent was a member. It is made clear that the First Responde

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nt is not precluded from working out his remedies for such relief, if he is eligible for the same, in the manner recognized by law and that no view has been expressed by this Court on the correctness or otherwise on the entitlement of the claim made in that regard.10. It has been brought to notice that by order dated 04.03.2019 in W.M.P. No. 6323 of 2019, as clarified by further order dated 26.06.2019, the Second Respondent has been entitled to the benefit of last drawn wages under Section 17-B of the Act from the date of filing of the Writ Petition and he has been receiving such payment till date. The said arrangement shall continue to be in force till fresh order is passed by the First Respondent in the application for approval under Section 33(2)(b) of the Act, on the Second Respondent filing the requisite affidavit that he has not been gainfully employed elsewhere during that period.11. The Writ Petition is ordered on the aforesaid terms. Consequently, the connected Miscellaneous Petition is closed. No costs.
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