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Gian Chand and anr. Vs. Rawalpindi Victory Transport Co. Ltd. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1970)IILLJ564P& H
AppellantGian Chand and anr.
RespondentRawalpindi Victory Transport Co. Ltd.
Cases ReferredKanpur v. Iron and Steel Mazdoor Union
Excerpt:
.....of the constitution. - in the respondent's petition under articles 226 and 227 of the constitution the learned judge found as a fact (a) that in the statement of his case the workman, appellant 1, while taking other grounds to show that the termination of his service was not justified in law, did not take the ground that it was bad at contravening section 25f(b) of the act, because of his not having been paid retrenchment compensation at the time of his retrenchment, (b) that even if the statement of this workman was taken, he did not say that he had not been paid such retrenchment compensation, but said that he did not recollect that he had been paid the same or not, and (c) that the workman, appellant 1, never having made a grievance in this respect, there was no occasion for..........rules of procedure, those rules cannot possibly be strictly applied to such cases and the formal rules of pleadings and those regarding evidence are not applicable to such proceedings. is this case, according to the learned counsel, the finding given by the labour court that there has been non-compliance with section 25f(b) of the act is a finding of fact, and it would be against the rules of natural justice to upset that finding of fact, proceeding merely on the basis of technicalities, whatever may have been the substance in this approach before the two decisions of their lordships of the supreme court referred to above, in the wake of those decisions this approach is entirely devoid of force.6. there is no other argument that has been urged in this appeal, which is dismissed with.....
Judgment:

Mehar Singh, C.J.

1. This is an appeal by Gian Chand. driver, and the District Motor Transport Workers Union, Ambala City, appellants 1 and 2, to which the respondents are the Rawalpindi Victory Transport Company Ltd., Ambala City, and the State of Punjab (now the State of Haryana), respondents 1 and 2, from the judgment and order, dated November 25, 1964, of a learned single Judge accepting a petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution by respondent 1 against the award, dated June 20, 1964, of the Presiding Officer of the Rohtak Labour Court whereby it was found that the termination of the service of the appellant 1 was, in law. justified, and, to that extent, quashing the order of the Labour Court.

2. With respondent No. 1 was the transport route between Ambala and Naraingarh, which was taken over by respondent 2 in pursuit of its scheme of nationalization of transport, thereby reducing the mileage for passenger transport purposes with respondent 1 from 500 to about 404 miles. Consequently, the reduction was of about 96 miles. On that respondent 1 took an occasion to terminate the services of appellant 1. and also of another driver Karnail Singh, who was senior to appellant 1 An industrial dispute having been raised on this matter, the question was referred to the Labour Court of Rohtak, and the learned Presiding Officer of that Court found that the termination of the services of the two workmen was not justified, among others, on the ground of non-compliance by respondent 1 with the provisions of Section 25F(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (Act 14 of 1947).

The provision in Section 25F(b) of the Act is-

No workman employed in any industry who has been in continuous service for not lest than one year under an employer shall be retrenched by that employer until-

(a) * * *(b) The workman has been paid, at the time of retrenchment, compensation which shall be equivalent to fifteen days' average pay for every completed year of service or any part thereof in excess of six months.

It has not been questioned by anybody that appellant I was not entitled to retrenchment compensation under this provision. Retrenchment compensation was seat to appellant 1 by money-order which, it has been commonly accepted here, was refused by appellant 1. The learned Presiding Officer of the Labour Court decided against respondent 1 with regard to this provision in the statute saying that the provision is imperative and, pleadings or no pleadings, it was the duty of respondent 1 to fulfil this precondition to retrenchment before the retrenchment could be held to be justified. The learned Presiding Officer said that respondent 1 had led no proof that payment of retrenchment compensation was made to appellant 1 in the terms of Section 25F(b) of the Act and so the retrenchment was not justified. In the respondent's petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution the learned Judge found as a fact (a) that in the statement of his case the workman, appellant 1, while taking other grounds to show that the termination of his service was not justified in law, did not take the ground that it was bad at contravening Section 25F(b) of the Act, because of his not having been paid retrenchment compensation at the time of his retrenchment, (b) that even if the statement of this workman was taken, he did not say that he had not been paid such retrenchment compensation, but said that he did not recollect that he had been paid the same or not, and (c) that the workman, appellant 1, never having made a grievance in this respect, there was no occasion for respondent 1 to prove the factum of payment of retrenchment compensation to appellant 1 at the time of the termination of his service.

3. In this appeal under Clause 10 of the Letters Patent from the judgment and order of the learned single Judge, it is not denied that at no stage did appellant 1, the workman, ever give this ground as invalidating his retrenchment because the provisions of Section 25F(b) of the statute were not complied with, for he had not been paid, at the proper time, retrenchment compensation. What has been stated by the learned Counsel on behalf of the appellants is that though appellant 1, the workman, refused the money order whereby respondent 1 sent the retrenchment compensation to him, appellant 1 has never come to know what was the amount of the money order and thus whether in fact the amount sent was the complete and full amount of the retrenchment compensation due to him according to Section 25F(b) of the Act. This argument is not open to the appellants, first, because appellant 1 refused to accept the money order, and, secondly, at no stage has it been stated by appellant 1 or either of the appellants that the amount sent in this respect by respondent 1 to appellant I was not the full and the proper amount of retrenchment compensation due under Section 25F(b) of the Act to appellant 1. It is settled by the decision of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in J.K. Iron and Steel Co. Ltd., Kanpur v. Iron and Steel Mazdoor Union 1956 I L.L.J. 227 and Tatanagar Foundry Co. Ltd., v. Their Workmen (1962) 4 F.L.R. 470 : 1962 I L.L.J. 382, that a matter like this; required pleadings and issues to ascertain the real dispute between the parties, and it not having come in the pleadings of appellant 1, the workman, the Labour Court acted beyond its jurisdiction in proceeding to give its decision against respondent 1 and in favour of appellant 1, the workman, on this basis). So the approach of the learned single Judge in this respect is unexceptional.

4. It has next been urged by the learned Counsel for the appellants that the scope of the reference to the Labour Court is limited within Section 10(4) of the Act and that Court must confine itself to what is actually referred to it. What was referred to it was whether the termination of the services of the workman was justified and in order and to that effect the Labour Court had to see whether there was or was not compliance of Section 25F(b) of that very Act. But the learned single Judge has referred to the rules according to which pleadings have to be given by the parties before the Labour Court, clarifying their stand with regard to the claim by one side and the reply by the other, and then, after the matters of dispute have crystallized, for decision of the same. So the rules required in this case pleadings by appellant 1 to state the grounds on which his retrenchment was not legally valid and although the grounds were actually stated but this particular ground was not taken. So this argument does not avail the appellants.

5. The last argument urged by the learned Counsel for the appellants is that because of the technicalities of the rules of procedure, those rules cannot possibly be strictly applied to such cases and the formal rules of pleadings and those regarding evidence are not applicable to such proceedings. is this case, according to the learned counsel, the finding given by the Labour Court that there has been non-compliance with Section 25F(b) of the Act is a finding of fact, and it would be against the rules of natural justice to upset that finding of fact, proceeding merely on the basis of technicalities, Whatever may have been the substance in this approach before the two decisions of their Lordships of the Supreme Court referred to above, in the wake of those decisions this approach is entirely devoid of force.

6. There is no other argument that has been urged in this appeal, which is dismissed with costs.

B.R. Tuli, J.

I agree.


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