1. This Judgment will dispose of two appeals under Clause 10 of the Letters Patent, being Nos. 61 and 62 of 1963, both by the Gurgaon District Ex-Servicemen Motor Transport Cooperative Society, Ltd., appellant, from an order dated 28 January 1963, of a learned single Judge dismissing two Writ Petitions No. 359 of 1961 and No. 566 by the appellant against two separate awards of the labour court, respondent 2, dated 9 January 1961, and 22 March 1962, whereunder the labour court had come to the conclusion that the services of Nawal Singh, respondent 1, had not been validly terminated.
2. The appellant-society runs a passenger service. Respondent 1 was employed as a driver by it on daily wages. He was so employed to drive vehicle PNG 1982 on 7 April 1960. On 9 April, while the vehicle was being driven by him from Palwal to Hodel, it stopped on the way. The appellant-society appointed a committee of three persons to hold an inquiry in regard to the incident. On 23 May, the three members of the committee examined certain witnesses but not in the presence of respondent 1. They also took the statement of respondent 1. No charge was made against respondent 1, no chargesheet was given to him, and he was not told even what was the substance of the inquiry against him. He was not permitted to cross-examine the witnesses examined by the inquiry committee. All the same that committee made a report in that inquiry to the appellant-society on the very day, that is to say, on 23 May 1960. On that, by a resolution of 5 June the appellant-society proceeded to discharge the services of respondent 1 considering him as most in efficient driver.
3. The labour court, respondent 2, in the circumstances as detailed, had no option but to quash the order of discharge for the simple reason that there has really been no inquiry of any type into the conducts of respondent 1, nor he has had any opportunity of being heard in relation to any such inquiry. The position taken by the appellant-society, before respondent 2, appears to have been that respondent 1 being the juniormost employee, his services were terminated on one month's notice and it was a case of retrenchment, but, as the learned single Judge points out in his order, no notice of any such retrenchment was given to respondent 1 and there appears to be no reason why A committee should have been appointed to go into the incident of the stoppage of the vehicle on the way between Palwal and Holed on 9 April 1960. So, respondent 2 came to the conclusion that it was not a case of retrenchment but of dismissal in consequence of the report of the inquiry committee. It was in these circumstances that respondent 2 quashed the older discharging the services of respondent 1. After that, the appellant-society on reinstating respondent l proceeded to dismiss him on the ground that he was a casual worker, but this has been found to be not be by respondent 2, and, it has again quashed the order dismissing respondent 1 characterizing it as a clear case of victimization. The appellant-society had questioned the awards of respondent 2 with regard to first the discharge of respondent 1 from service and then of his dismissal. As stated, respondent 2 found the first order discharging services of respondent 1 as not sustainable, because respondent 1 was not associated with the inquiry in consequence of which he was discharged from service, and his subsequent dismissal has been found to have been an act of victimization.
4. On behalf of the appellant-society before the learned single Judge reliance was placed, as at this stage is these appeals, on Balipara Tea Estate v. its workman 1959-II L.L.J. 245, that the tribunal should not concern itself with the merits of the charges but that is what has not happened in this case, and, as such, has been held by the learned single Judge as also by the labour court, respondent 2. In the first case, there definitely was an inquiry in to incident of 9 April with which inquiry respondent 1 was not associated except that his statement was taken. It was in consequence of report made by the inquiry committee that his services were discharged on account of inefficiency. Such an order could not be maintained in the circumstances when there was no chargesheet against respondent 1, there was no inquiry in his presence, he was not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses, and he had no opportunity to put forward his defence. Is so far as the second order is concerned, it is a finding of fact by respondent 2 that it was an act of victimization and in to such a finding there could have been no interference in a writ petition. In these circumstances, the learned single Judge had no option but to dismiss the writ petitions of the appellant-society, for there is in these cases no ground whatsoever on the basis of which there can be interference with the award of respondent 2. So, these appeals are dismissed with costs, counsel's fee being Rs. 62 in each.