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Rakeshwar Dayal Vs. Labour Court and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1962)ILLJ5All
AppellantRakeshwar Dayal
RespondentLabour Court and ors.
Excerpt:
- - the petitioner has not assailed this part of the reasoning nor has he asserted in his affidavit that he remained idle in spite of his best efforts to minimize his losses......the terms of the contract of employment. the award of the tribunal must be read as a whole and the word 'reinstatement' cannot be torn from the rest of the award. the tribunal directed his reinstatement subject to the condition that he would be paid fifty per cent of his salary during the period when he did no work for the employer. i have read the reasons which induced the tribunal to award fifty per cent of the wages. first, there was nothing to show that the petitioner had been doing during his period of enforced idleness. in other words, the tribunal did not, exclude the possibility of the petitioner having gained something by gainful' employment elsewhere. the petitioner has not assailed this part of the reasoning nor has he asserted in his affidavit that he remained idle in spite.....
Judgment:

S.S. Dhavan, J.

1. This is Rakeshwar Dayal's petition under Article 226 of the Constitution directed against an award of the labour court, Kanpur. The respondents are Begg Sutherland and Company, Ltd., Kanpur, a subsidiary of the British India Corporation, Ltd., Kanpur. The facts as alleged in the petitioner's affidavit are these: The petitioner was the employee of Begg Sutherland and Company, Ltd. Kanpur. There was some question o retrenchment and after some negotiation, the petitioner and six others agreed to resign voluntarily on certain terms and conditions. Subsequently, there was a dispute over those terms and the petitioner withdrew his offer to resign. Thereupon he was retrenched. The other six workmen submitted to the decision but the petitioner did not. The workmen raised a dispute and the matter was referred by the Government to the labour court, Kanpur. It gave an award holding that the petitioner's retrenchment was unjustified and directed his reinstatement. However, it also held that the petitioner should get only fifty per cent of the wages during the period when he admittedly did no work for the company. This petition is directed against this part of the award.

2. After hearing the learned Counsel, I am of the opinion that the petition is without merit. The tribunal had jurisdiction to order the petitioner's, reinstatement and give him such compensation as appeared just for the period that he was doing no work for the employer. The petitioner has no right of reinstatement under the law of contract which gives an employer the power to retrench any employee in accordance with the terms of his employment. His rights accrued to him under the award of the tribunal which under the Industrial Disputes Act has wide powers to modify or change the terms of the contract of employment. The award of the tribunal must be read as a whole and the word 'reinstatement' cannot be torn from the rest of the award. The tribunal directed his reinstatement subject to the condition that he would be paid fifty per cent of his salary during the period when he did no work for the employer. I have read the reasons which induced the tribunal to award fifty per cent of the wages. First, there was nothing to show that the petitioner had been doing during his period of enforced idleness. In other words, the tribunal did not, exclude the possibility of the petitioner having gained something by gainful' employment elsewhere. The petitioner has not assailed this part of the reasoning nor has he asserted in his affidavit that he remained idle in spite of his best efforts to minimize his losses. A servant who BUBS his employer for wrongful dismissal must show that he made efforts to minimize his loss. The petitioner has not stated that he made any effort to minimize his loss during his period of enforced idleness. The tribunal also considered the facts that the conduct of the employer was not mala fide and there was a bona fide dispute between the parties. It was within its powers to consider these matters which are not irrelevant. The petitioner seems to think that he became entitled to full salary for the interim period as soon as the tribunal used the word 'reinstatement.' He now contends that the tribunal misconstrued the meaning of the word 'reinstatement.' No question of misconstruction arises as the tribunal did not Interpret any statute of the legislature or document executed by another person but used the word 'reinstatement' in pronouncing an award, and used it in the sense of partial reinstatement. As stated above, the award must be read as a whole and the word 'reinstatement' used by the tribunal is qualified by the condition that he was to get fifty per cent of the wages for the interim period. Even if it used the word in a peculiar sense, it was entitled to do so.

3. The argument that the tribunal misconstrued the meaning of the word 'reinstatement' is based on a misapprehension of the law of interpretation of statutes which prescribe rules for the guidance of Courts to ascertain the intention of the legislature In using a particular word. But no question of misconstruction of any word arises when a Court does not interpret the word as need by the legislature or any authority but itself uses It -in a qualified or limited sense. In this case the tribunal directed the petitioner's restoration but did not award more than fifty per cent wages for the period when he did no work--in other words, a partial or limited reinstatement. It had the power to award full reinstatement or partial reinstatement at its discretion. In my view, taking all the facts into consideration, the discretion has not been unjudicially exercised. The petitioner has made out no case for the interference of this Court.

4. His petition is rejected.


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