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The General Manager, State Express Transport Corporation Vs. The Presiding Officer, Labour Court, Madurai and Another - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai Madurai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.P.(MD)No. 5268 of 2010 & M.P(MD)Nos.1 of 2010 & 1 of 2015
Judge
AppellantThe General Manager, State Express Transport Corporation
RespondentThe Presiding Officer, Labour Court, Madurai and Another
Excerpt:
.....both of them, the first respondent has come to a conclusion that while the second respondent was issued tickets, at that time itself, the checking inspector has entered into the bus and ceased all the tickets from the passengers as well as from the second respondent. without verifying whether the second respondent has issued the entire tickets and closed. therefore, this was not properly appreciated by the enquiry officer and enquiry report would clearly show that it was conducted in a biased manner. 7.apart from this, the second respondent also made punch on the 5 tickets worth about rs.7/- each, whereas, he has about to punch in the 5 tickets worth about rs.9/- each, the checking inspector entered into the bus and this was not properly enquired into by the enquiry officer. therefore,.....
Judgment:

(Prayer: Petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue a Writ of Certiorari calling for the records pertaining to the award dated 12.05.2008 in I.D.No.144 of 2001 on the file of the first respondent and quash the same.)

1. This writ petition has been filed challenging the order of the first respondent/Labour Court, Madurai, passed in I.D.No.144 of 2001 dated 12.05.2008, wherein the first respondent/Labour Court has passed an order reinstating the second respondent with continuity of service.

2. The case of the petitioner is that the petitioner is the General Manager, State Express Transport Corporation, Pallavan salai, Chennai 2 and the second respondent, namely, M.Vanagamu has worked as Conductor in the petitioner Corporation. When the second respondent was on duty in the route No.846 from Bangalore to Madurai, at the point of checking at Andhipalli, the Checking Inspector while making his checking, he found that though the second respondent collected Rs.80/- from four full tickets passenger and two half tickets passenger for the journey from Bangalore to Hosur, he failed to issue tickets to the passengers. Therefore, he has misappropriated the abovesaid fare amount. Based on the report given by the Checking Inspector, the petitioner has been issued a charge memo to the second respondent on 12.06.1998. On receipt of the said charge memo, the second respondent has submitted his explanation on 18.06.1998 by denying the charges. Unsatisfied with the abovesaid explanation, the petitioner has conducted a domestic enquiry as per Rules and Regulation. The second respondent also participated in the enquiry and due opportunity was given. Based on the enquiry, the enquiry officer submitted his report that the charges levelled against the second respondent were proved.

3. On receipt of the enquiry report, a second show-cause notice was issued on 08.09.1998 to the second respondent. On receipt of the same, he has given his reply on 19.09.1998 without any specific denial of the allegation. Considering the said second explanation and enquiry report and the past records of the second respondent, since the second respondent was punished several times, the petitioner, by an order dated 15.06.1999, terminated the petitioner from service. Challenging the said termination order, the second respondent raised an industrial dispute before the first respondent and filed I.D.No.144 of 2001. Considering the materials and evidence produced by the petitioner as well as the second respondent, the first respondent/Labour Court was pleased to allow the said I.D.No.144 of 2001 partly on 12.05.2008 and refused to give the back wages for the period of 10 days till the reinstatement. But the first respondent has directed the petitioner to instate the second respondent with continuity of service.

4. Challenging the said order of the first respondent/labour Court, the present writ petition has been filed by the petitioner Management on the ground that the first respondent/Labour Court without considering and appreciating the evidence and materials produced by the petitioner Corporation had simply allowed the I.D. partly by directing the petitioner to give employment to the second respondent with continuity of service, but without back wages. Further, it is stated by the petitioner that the charges were held proved beyond doubt through witnesses and there was no dispute over the domestic enquiry conducted by the petitioner. But the first respondent without appreciating the same has taken a different stand that the charges were not proved. The petitioner also raised a ground stating that the first respondent without appreciating on any corner, putting pressure on the petitioner management to reinstate the second respondent immediately. Therefore, the order made in I.D.No.144 of 2001 passed by the first respondent may be set aside.

5. The case of the second respondent is that he was entered into service in the petitioner Management on 02.11.1986 as Conductor and his last drawn salary is Rs.4,720/- per month. The charge memo dated 12.06.1998, there is no truth. Though the second respondent was suspended from service from 26.05.1998 and later on, based on explanation dated 18.06.1998, the second respondent was reinstated the petitioner into the service and transferred to Trichy Depot. The second respondent also raised the dispute in the above I.D.No.144 of 2001 stating that the enquiry officer was acted in the biased manner and without giving proper opportunity, the enquiry was conducted. Though the charge was that for 4 full tickets and 2 half tickets, the second respondent collected Rs.80/- from the passengers, but he has not issued any tickets. The second respondent stated that the said passengers were boarded at Pompalla valli and the second respondent charged Rs.16/- per passenger, but all of them were quarrelled with the second respondent by saying that though in other buses the ticket was charged for the passengers Rs.10.50, but the second respondent collected Rs.16/-. But at that time, the second respondent was kept in custody of Rs.10/- and Rs.6/- tickets, whereas, they were having Rs.7/- and Rs.9 and hence, the second respondent has issued 5 tickets for Rs.7/- and another 5 tickets for Rs.9/-. But before giving the said tickets the said passengers were quarrelled with the second respondent. But he has made punch only on the Rs.7/- tickets for the cost of Rs.7/- tickets whereas he has not made punch on the tickets of Rs.9/-, but before that the checking inspector was entered into the bus and ceased all the tickets and giving the report that the second respondent has not given the tickets to the said passengers for Rs.80/- and misappropriated the said amount. The second respondent also stated that in the domestic enquiry, it was made that it was conducted in a biased manner and without accepting the proper explanation given by the second respondent the petitioner has passed the order of termination dated 15.06.1999 terminating the second respondent from his service. Hence, the said order is totally against the order of natural justice and act and the order of Labour Court is valid.

6. The first respondent has conducted a trial, in which, both the petitioner as well as the second respondent were appeared and produced the relevant documents and evidence. Based on the evidence produced by both of them, the first respondent has come to a conclusion that while the second respondent was issued tickets, at that time itself, the Checking Inspector has entered into the bus and ceased all the tickets from the passengers as well as from the second respondent. Without verifying whether the second respondent has issued the entire tickets and closed. Therefore, this was not properly appreciated by the enquiry officer and enquiry report would clearly show that it was conducted in a biased manner.

7.Apart from this, the second respondent also made punch on the 5 tickets worth about Rs.7/- each, whereas, he has about to punch in the 5 tickets worth about Rs.9/- each, the Checking Inspector entered into the bus and this was not properly enquired into by the enquiry officer. Therefore, accepting the case of the second respondent, the first respondent allowed I.D partly and directed the petitioner to reinstate the second respondent into service. Therefore, the petitioner prayed this Court to dismiss the above writ petition.

8. Heard Mr.P.Thilakkumar, learned counsel for the petitioner as well as Mr.S.Muthumalai Raja, learned counsel for the second respondent.

9. It is the case of the petitioner Management that the second respondent was an employee and working as Conductor. While he was on duty in the route No.846 from Bangalore to Madurai, the Checking Inspector were entered into the bus and ceased the collected fare amount from the second respondent-Conductor and collected tickets from the passengers and the Checking Inspector were noted that the second respondent though collected a sum of Rs.80/- for four full tickets and two half tickets for the journey from Bangalore to Hosur, he has not issued the tickets to the said passengers, therefore, he has misappropriated the abovesaid fare amount. Hence, the petitioner Management issued a charge memo to the second respondent on 12.06.1998. For which, the second respondent has submitted his explanation on 18.06.1998 by denying the charges. Unsatisfied with the abovesaid explanation given by the second respondent, an enquiry was conducted and the enquiry officers given his report that the charges levelled against the second respondent were proved. Based on the enquiry report, the second show-cause notice was issued on 08.09.1998. For which, the second respondent has also given his reply on 19.09.1998 without any specific denial of the allegation. Considering the said second explanation and enquiry report, the second respondent was terminated from service on 15.06.1999. When the second respondent has challenged the said termination order before the first respondent/Labour Court, he has given the clear evidence that when the second respondent issued tickets, the said passengers quarrelled with the second respondent and the second respondent charged Rs.16/- per passenger, but all of them were quarrelled with the second respondent by saying that though in other buses the ticket was charged for the passengers Rs.10.50, but the second respondent collected Rs.16/-. But at that time, there was no availability of Rs.10/- and Rs.6/- tickets, the second respondent has issued 5 tickets for Rs.7/- and another 5 tickets for Rs.9/-. But before giving the said tickets the said passengers were quarrelled with the second respondent. But he has made punch only on the 5 tickets for the cost of Rs.7/- tickets whereas he has not made punch on the tickets Rs.9/-, but before that the Checking Inspector was entered into the bus and ceased same. But the said statement was denied by the Checking Inspector.

10. The case of the petitioner is that the domestic enquiry was conducted in a proper manner by giving fair opportunity to the second respondent delinquent and hence, the enquiry officer has given the charges proven one report and accordingly, the punishment was imposed on the second respondent. But the learned Labour Judge was pleased to clearly held that no one was examined as witness in the domestic enquiry, particularly, the Checking Inspector, who ceased the tickets from the second respondent/employee, was not at all examined, but the statement alone was taken into account. Whereas, the second respondent has denied and stated the above facts stated supra. If at all the case of the second respondent is that a wordy quarrel was arose between him and the passengers in respect of fare charges and he also punch on the 5 tickets for cost of Rs.7/- but he has not made punch on the tickets for Rs.9/-. Therefore, the first respondent/Labour Court very clearly held that the domestic enquiry was not conducted in a proper manner and no fair opportunity was given to the second respondent employee to prove his case and therefore, he set aside the said order of termination passed against the second respondent and directed the petitioner to reinstate the second respondent with continuity of service without back-wages. Therefore, the order of the first respondent is not warranted to interfere with the order in I.D.No.144 of 2001, since the petitioner Management has not made out any case.

11. Accordingly, the writ petition is dismissed. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.


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