(Prayer : Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issue of a Writ of Certiorari calling for the records relating to the order dated 09.01.2019 passed by the Second Additional Labour Court, Chennai in C.P.No.299 of 2003 and to quash the same as being illegal, without jurisdiction.)The prayer sought for herein is to call for the records relating to the order dated 09.01.2019 passed by the Second Additional Labour Court, Chennai in C.P.No.299 of 2003 and to quash the same as being illegal, without jurisdiction.2. The respondent was one of the employees of the petitioner Management viz.,Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers Federation limited. An industrial dispute was raised by the Tamil Nadu Diary Development Employees Union under Section 10(1)(d) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 in I.D.No.31 of 1985 and I.D.No.70 of 1986. Insofar as the respondent is concerned, he was appointed / engaged as Junior Mazdoor on 01.01.1980 and he was dismissed from service by an order dated 28.10.1992. Against his termination, the Employees Union raised an industrial dispute and the same was adjudicated before the Industrial Tribunal. However it seems that, insofar as the dispute raised before the Industrial Tribunal in I.D.No.31 of 1985 and I.D.No.70 of 1986 under Section 10(1)(d) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 is concerned, it was a common issue of several employees and thus the disputes were decided by a Common Award dated 17.02.1997 by the Industrial Tribunal, Chennai wherein there had been a direction for reinstatement with 25% backwages of a set of employees numbering more than 1000, wherein it seems that the name of the respondent was found at Serial No.476 in Annexure-2.3. Since pursuant to the Award passed by the Industrial Tribunal dated 17.02.1997, the petitioner Management allegedly not acted upon, the present respondent filed a Computation Petition in C.P.No.299 of 2003 under Section 33(c)(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. This petition was decided by the II Additional Labour Court vide order dated 09.01.2019, whereby the Labour Court has accepted the case of the respondent employee and accordingly the claim amount of Rs.4,32,816/- was directed to be paid to him by the petitioner Management within a period of three months. Aggrieved against the said order, the present writ petition has been filed by the Management.4. Heard Mr.V.Govardhanan, learned counsel for the petitioner / Management who would submit that, no doubt the Award was passed by the Industrial Tribunal on 17.02.1997 with regard to the reinstatement of several employees with 25% backwages, wherein the name of the respondent also found place in Annexure-2 at S.No.476. However, he would point out that, in the said Award, a specific plea was raised against this respondent which has been taken note of by the Industrial Tribunal in Para 23 of the Award dated 17.02.1997, which reads thus,23. It has been stated by the respondent Management that S.No.476 A.Nagappan has filed a case which is pending. Subject to the outcome of the case Nagappan is entitled to get the relief as far as this I.D., is concerned.”5. In this context, Mr.Govardhanan, learned counsel for the petitioner would further submit that, insofar as this respondent is concerned, disciplinary proceedings was initiated by issuing a Charge Memo on 25.04.1982 for the alleged instigation of the loyal workers and on 12.05.1983, a show cause notice was issued to him. Challenging the same, he filed writ petition in W.P.No.4978 of 1983, however after some time he withdrew the same as infructuous on 03.07.1991 and based on his endorsement, the said W.P.No.4978 of 1983 was dismissed by this Court. Thereafter on 25.07.1992, a fresh show cause notice was issued calling upon his explanation in respect of the charge. Since the explanation given was not satisfactory, a departmental enquiry was initiated and concluded against him and accordingly final order was passed on 28.10.1992 terminating the services of the respondent / employee.6. Learned counsel for the petitioner Management would also submit that, as against the said termination order dated 28.10.1992, the respondent / employee raised an industrial dispute in I.D.No.45 of 1994 before the Principal Labour Court, Chennai and the same was dismissed as not pressed by the order / award of the Labour Court dated 21.06.1999. Therefore, the order of termination made against respondent dated 28.10.1992, though was initially assailed by raising an industrial dispute, the same has not been adjudicated by the respondent employee, in view of the stand taken not to press the industrial dispute and accordingly an Award dated 21.06.1999 was passed dismissing the industrial dispute in I.D.No.45 of 1994. Hence, the termination order dated 28.10.1992 still holds good. When that being so, in view of the observation made in para 23 of the Award dated 17.02.1997, the respondent would not be entitled to get any relief and therefore since the Labour Court, on a wrong assumption, has allowed the claim of the respondent employee, the said award passed in C.P.No.299 of 2003, which is impugned herein, also would not be sustainable and therefore, the said award is liable to be interfered with.7. Per contra, Mr.S.Ravi, learned counsel for the first respondent would submit that, no doubt the respondent was terminated by the petitioner Management by an order dated 28.10.1992, and challenging the same an industrial dispute was raised in I.D.No.45 of 1994 on the file of the Principal Labour Court, Chennai and the same was pending for orders. In the meanwhile, since the Award was passed on 17.02.1997 in I.D.No.31 of 1985 and I.D.No.70 of 1986 as stated supra, covering all the employees like the respondent, wherein the name of the respondent also found place at S.No.476 in Annexure-2, whereby a common Award was passed, directing the petitioner Management to reinstate all those employees including the respondent with 25% backwages and the said Award since has not been implemented against this respondent, this respondent would be entitled to get relief under Section 33(c)(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and accordingly a Computation Petition in C.P.No.299 of 2003 was filed and therefore, the learned Judge having considered all these aspects, has passed an order allowing the claim made by the respondent to the extent of Rs.4,32,816/- and therefore, the said order passed by the Labour Court allowing the Computation Petition in C.P.No.299 of 2003 filed by the respondent is fully justifiable and therefore, the said order does not require any interference by this Court.8. I have considered the said rival submissions made by the learned counsel for both sides and have perused the materials placed before this Court.9. Absolutely there is no dispute on the Award passed by the Industrial Tribunal on 17.02.1997 in I.D.No.31 of 1985 and I.D.No.70 of 1986.10. As has been rightly pointed out by the learned counsel for the petitioner Management, during the pendency of the said Industrial Disputes, already the respondent was terminated by the orders of the petitioner Management dated 28.10.1992 and the relevant portion of the said order passed by the petitioner Management terminating the services of the respondent is extracted hereunder.“TAMIL””11. Against the said order, it is an admitted fact that, the respondent employee raised an industrial dispute in I.D.No.45 of 1994 before the Principal Labour Court, Chennai. In the meanwhile, a common Award was passed by the Industrial Tribunal on 17.02.1997 with regard to the termination of so many employees like the respondent, wherein a list of employees in Annexure 1 and 2 had been given. No doubt, the name of the respondent also found place at S.No.476 of Annexure-2. However, it is to be noted that in Para 23 of the Award dated 17.02.1997, the Industrial Tribunal has made it clear that, the respondent Management stated that S.No.476 (A.Nagappan), the respondent herein has filed a case, which is pending and subject to the outcome of the case, Nagappan is entitled to get relief as far as this industrial dispute is concerned. Therefore, it has become quite clear that, though generally the Award was passed, where all those employees whose names found place in the Annexure are entitled to get relief of reinstatement with backwages, insofar as this respondent is concerned, since there is a case pending, subject to the outcome alone he would be entitled to reinstatement ie., a rider was provided in the Award of the Industrial Tribunal dated 17.02.1997. The case pending means I.D.No.45 of 1994 filed by the respondent against the termination order dated 28.10.1992.12. Therefore, the respondent ought to have conducted the I.D., on merits and if he was able to get an Award in his favour in the said I.D.No.45 of 1994 filed against the termination order dated 28.10.1992, certainly he would be entitled to get the relief as awarded by the Industrial Tribunal by the Award dated 17.02.1997.13. Instead, what had happened is, on 21.06.1999, it seems that on behalf of the respondent employee, endorsement has been filed where he has stated the following,“TAMIL”14. Only recording the said endorsement filed by the respondent employee, who raised I.D.No.45 of 1994, the Principal Labour Court, on 21.06.1999, passed the following Award.AWARDThis is an industrial dispute filed under Section 2-A(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 seeking reinstatement of the petitioner in service with backwages, continuity of service and other attendant benefits.2. The respondent has filed counter statement.3. Today the dispute is taken up for enquiry. Petitioner and Management present. Endorsement made and recorded. In the result, an award is passed dismissing the I.D., as not pressed. No costs.”15. Therefore, it has become quite clear that, without knowing the result of the challenge he made in I.D.No.45 of 1994 against the termination order dated 28.10.1992, the respondent employee not pressed the said industrial dispute and thereby the Award was passed in I.D.No.45 of 1994.16. This is the case, which was mentioned by the Industrial Tribunal in its Award dated 17.02.1997 at Para 23 referred to above. Therefore, the outcome of the pending case i.e., I.D.No.45 of 1994 went not in favour of the respondent employee, and still the termination order dated 28.10.1992 holds good or staring on the respondent employee. Without testifying the same, its veracity in the eye of law, for which he already raised I.D.No,.45 of 1994, he seems to have been not pressed the said industrial dispute. With the result, the said I.D., was dismissed as not pressed.17. However, in the impugned Computation Petition in C.P.No.299 of 2003, the learned Judge of the II Additional Labour Court has been driven in completely misdirection, where he had stated that the termination order dated 28.10.1992 was the subject matter in the I.D. ie., I.D.No.31 of 1985. The termination order is dated 28.10.1992. Therefore, it should not have been the subject matter in the I.D., filed by the Employees Union in the year 1985 and 1986. Therefore, it is not known as to on what basis the learned Judge has proceeded to state that, the termination order dated 28.10.1992 was also the subject matter and it went in favour of the employee, where his name was found in S.No.476 and therefore he would be entitled for reinstatement with backwages and accordingly he would also be entitled to the claim under Section 33(c)(2) and therefore, his Claim Petition should be ordered. This reasoning given and the conclusion arrived at by the learned Judge through the impugned order dated 09.01.2019 in C.P.No.299 of 2003 is completely under misdirection, without verifying the facts. Therefore, this Court has no hesitation to hold that, the impugned order made in C.P.No.299 of 2003 dated 09.01.2019 is liable to be interfered with and to be set aside.18. In the result, the impugned order dated 09.01.2019 made in C.P.No.299 of 2013 is set aside. The respondent workman / employee would be at liberty to challenge the termination order dated 28.10.1992 in the manner known to law. Normally after such a long period, the employee would not be entitled to challenge the order dated 28.10.1992 under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act or any other law time being in force in view of the long delay. However, in view of the peculiar facts and circumstances, where there had been continuous and overlapping litigations at one point of time i.e., one I.D., by the Employees Union and another I.D., by the workman / employee, and because of the misconception of the Awards passed
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in those I.Ds., the respondent employee since has not pressed I.D.No.45 of 1994, he has lost his ground. Therefore, considering these very peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, this Court is inclined to give this liberty to the respondent employee to challenge the order of termination dated 28.10.1999 and in that endeavour, the delay shall not stand in the way. However, this cannot be treated as a precedent in any other case.19. It is also submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner that pursuant to the interim order dated 14.06.2019, a sum of Rs.4,32,816/- was deposited to the credit of C.P.No.299 of 2003 and it seems that some amount had already been withdrawn by the respondent employee, however majority of the amount is still lying in the account of C.P.No.299 of 2003 and therefore, the same may be permitted to be withdrawn by the petitioner Management. Such permission is granted, wherein the petitioner Management can file appropriate petition before the Court below in C.P.No.299 of 2003, where the learned Judge, after verifying the amount already withdrawn by the respondent employee, permit the Management to withdraw the remaining amount lying either in that account or if it is deposited in any Fixed Deposit in any Bank or Financial Institution.20. With the above directions, the writ petition is allowed. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is closed.