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Subbanna S. Vs. Labour Court and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petition Nos. 566 and 567 of 1961
Judge
Reported in(1964)ILLJ702Kant; (1963)1MysLJ547
ActsIndustrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Sections 10(1) and 25F
AppellantSubbanna S.
RespondentLabour Court and anr.
Appellant AdvocateKotre and ;R.N. Narasimhamurthi, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateD.M. Chandrasekhar, High Court Government Pleader
Excerpt:
.....the charge of fraud is proved. award was set aside. - indeed, it addressed itself to the question whether reinstatement should be ordered, which makes it clear that the labour court did understand the principle applicable to cases like these sufficiently correct. it is well-known rule that if a tribunal is bestowed the discretion to be exercised by it on a consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case in which such discretion has to be exercised, the exercise of that discretion cannot be reviewed even in appeal unless that discretion like other judicial discretions, has not been exercised according to commonsense or according to justice or unless there is a miscarriage in its exercise. 227 of the constitution the review of such discretion is not possible except in rare..........[1942 a.c. 130]. if those are the limitations within which even an appellate court can review the exercise of discretion by a court or tribunal, from which an appeal has been preferred to it, it is obvious that in the exercise of our jurisdiction either under art. 226 or under art. 227 of the constitution the review of such discretion is not possible except in rare exceptional circumstances in which conditions for such review are established. it does not appear to us that these cases fall within that category. we must, therefore, refuse to say that it is open to us to substitute for the discretion for payment of compensation made by the labour court a direction for reinstatement. 4. but, sri narasimhamurthi and sri kotre complain that the determination of the compensation payable to the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Somnath Ayyar, J.

1. The two petitioners are employees in a project known as the Bhadra Reservoir Project and their services were terminated as a result of some misconduct which was imputed to each of them. But, in a reference under S. 10(1)(c) of the Industrial Disputes Act, the Labour Court recorded a finding that the termination of their services could not be defended, since, in its opinion, the termination was without an enquiry into the misconduct imputed to them. But the Labour Court, however, thought that it was not necessary to make an order for their reinstatement. What it directed was that each of the petitioners should be awarded retrenchment compensation computed on the basis provided by S. 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act.

2. It is urged that since reinstatement in a case in which the termination is decided to be unsupportable is the rule, the substitution of compensation being only an exception, we should now quash that part of the award by which reinstatement was refused and issue a direction for reinstatement.

3. That, it is clear, is what we cannot do. In a case in which the tribunal functioning under the Industrial Disputes Act comes to the conclusion that the termination of the services of an employee was made without adherence to the rules of natural justice, it is for that tribunal in the exercise of its own discretion to decide whether it should order reinstatement or whether a direction for the payment of compensation would be an adequate substitute for reinstatement. No one can suggest that the Labour Court in this case was not aware of that principle. Indeed, it addressed itself to the question whether reinstatement should be ordered, which makes it clear that the Labour Court did understand the principle applicable to cases like these sufficiently correct. In both these cases after discussing the matter from that point of view, the Labour Court came to the conclusion that these were cases in which reinstatement should not be ordered. It is well-known rule that if a tribunal is bestowed the discretion to be exercised by it on a consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case in which such discretion has to be exercised, the exercise of that discretion cannot be reviewed even in appeal unless that discretion like other judicial discretions, has not been exercised according to commonsense or according to justice or unless there is a miscarriage in its exercise. That was the principle which was enunciated in Charles Ostenton & Co. v. Johnston [1942 A.C. 130]. If those are the limitations within which even an appellate Court can review the exercise of discretion by a Court or tribunal, from which an appeal has been preferred to it, it is obvious that in the exercise of our jurisdiction either under Art. 226 or under Art. 227 of the Constitution the review of such discretion is not possible except in rare exceptional circumstances in which conditions for such review are established. It does not appear to us that these cases fall within that category. We must, therefore, refuse to say that it is open to us to substitute for the discretion for payment of compensation made by the Labour Court a direction for reinstatement.

4. But, Sri Narasimhamurthi and Sri Kotre complain that the determination of the compensation payable to the petitioners has been arbitrary and capricious and that the formula contained in S. 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act was not the formula which should have been mechanically adopted by the Labour Court for the computation of the compensation payable to the petitioners.

5. It appears to us that in this regard what was done by the Labour Court cannot but be regarded as a manifest error of law. On a consideration of all the circumstances of the case, the proper direction which we should issue would be to direct the payment of compensation equivalent to four months' wages to Subbanna, the petitioner in Writ Petition No. 566 of 1961, and compensation equivalent to six months' salary to Venkataramiah, the petitioner in Writ Petition No. 567 of 1961. The petitioners will not be allowed to claim any additional payment in lieu of notice.

6. The petitioners in each of these cases will get their costs from the opposite side advocate's fee being quantified at Rs. 100 in each case.


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